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Bird Observatory plans to open to public in August

Turkey Vulture Ian Dickinson photo

The Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory (PEPtBO) plans to re-open to public visitors Aug. 15th, the start of the fall banding season.

Masks are required and COVID-19 protocols will apply and the site will be limited to 100 people. Trails where the nets are located will not be open as it would be difficult to maintain social distance with staff and volunteers coming and going with the birds.

Inside the station must also be off limits, but there are large windows for observation of the banders. There will also be demonstrations outside on a regular basis. The demonstrations are wheelchair accessible as are some of the trails and the well-maintained public washrooms.

PEPtBO reminds visitors the beach is open but the Canadian Wildlife Service does not allow fires, camping and recreational vehicles.

Bander-in-charge Philip Mercier reports this time of year is the end of breeding season and birdwatchers are starting to see the dispersing juveniles and molt migrants.

“Dispersing juveniles are birds that were born away from the individual MAPS stations that make their way into our area and then get banded. Birds like the Northern Parula and Northern Waterthrush that we banded today at the Miller Family Nature Reserve were never seen or encountered until today, giving us a strong indication of juvenile dispersal.”

Molt migrants are birds that finished breeding up north and came halfway down south to molt their flight feathers before making the bigger migratory jump for the winter.

“Today again at Miller, we caught a Swainson’s Thrush which is not known to breed in the area in the middle of its molt, showing us that it will hang around and finish molting before heading south.”

The Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory, at 6056 Long Point Road, is a registered charity with a mandate to monitor, report on and promote analysis of bird migration and to act as official caretaker of the Prince Edward County South Shore Important Bird and Biodiversity area (IBA). Click here to learn more, or become a member, by visiting the PEPtBO website 

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