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Bird Observatory sets record banding 12,302 birds

This Fox Sparrow was the 10,000th bird banded at PEPtBO this fall – a new record.
Photo by David Okines

The Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory (PEPtBO) set a new record when it banded its 10,000th bird this season. PEPtBO, at the southeast end of Prince Edward County on Long Point Road, is the first individual banding station among Canada’s 25 migration monitoring facilities to reach this magic number in a single season. By the time the station closed for the year at the beginning of November, the grand total had climbed even higher to 12,302 birds banded.

PEPtBO banded 114 different species during the fall, including tiny Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, a wide variety of warblers, numerous hawk species, a Mallard duck (a fall first), 956 Northern Saw-whet Owls and species at risk such as Rusty Blackbirds and Bobolinks. After being banded, each bird was released to continue feeding and resting before it resumed its migratory journey southward.

“These remarkable numbers reflect the dedicated work of our long-time station manager and master bander, David Okines, volunteer banders Justin Walker and Ron Efrat visiting from England and Israel respectively, and the many local volunteers who keep this station going,” says PEPtBO president Cheryl Anderson. “And remarkable as the numbers are, they represent just a tiny fraction of the hundreds of thousands of migratory birds that come through Prince Edward County’s south shore area every year. The southern part of the County is a crucially important stopping-off point for them.”

Established in 1995, PEPtBO is a non-profit and self-funded organization that supplies data for national and international research on avian migration and species health.  PEPtBO will reopen in mid-April 2013 for the spring migration.

PEPtBO volunteer Justin Walker with a newly-banded Mallard – a first for the fall. Photo by David Okines

PEPtBO volunteer Ron Efrat holds a Barred Owl and a Northern Saw-whet Owl
Photo by David Okines

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