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Bird Observatory soars through closures with nature online

Bay-breasted Warbler photographed by Bruce Parker.

Similar to many organizations and businesses in Prince Edward County, deemed non essential, Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory is closed – but now open on the internet.

Being situated in the Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area (NWA) delivered a “double whammy” to the Bird Observatory. The federal government closed the wildlife area and all its buildings with the result that not even one person would be allowed to band birds this spring.

“We did hope to continue our migration monitoring program using very limited personnel,” said PEPtBO President Peter Fuller. “However, with the closure of the NWA, that cannot happen.”

Plans are hopeful to open as usual in mid-August for the fall season, subject to the reopening of the wildlife area and the reduction in danger posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Bird Observatory has gone back to nature online. PEPtBO’s popular NatureHood program usually welcomes school classes to the observatory for outdoor, curriculum-based educational activities. While the outdoor classroom is not available and schools are not in session, the observatory’s NatureHood educators have devised an online program for families: The Get Out! Kids’ Club.

Families can register at https://peptbo.ca/getout.php and receive tips and descriptions of outdoor activities, bird-related crafts and ebooks that continue NatureHood’s commitment to outdoor education.

Over the next weeks this virtual NatureHood program will be expanded into other online platforms to reach school children at primary, middle and secondary levels.

PEPTBO’S popular Nature Matters! is back. This publication describes outdoor County events for the public throughout 2020 and the first quarter of 2021. The pdf form of the publication is available now for download on the PEPtBO web site at https://peptbo.ca/nature-matters.php . Distribution of the booklet itself will begin in late May.

The Birds and Bees Festival planned for July 18, the Monarch tagging event on Sept. 13, and fall monitoring and Owl events so far remain on PEPtBO’s calendar.

“We will follow government guidelines and remain flexible in our planning,” Fuller continues. “It is in everyone’s best interests to stay safe until the danger from the coronavirus diminishes.”

For Information about all PEPtBO’s activities, go to www.peptbo.ca

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