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PEPtBO celebration delves into private lives of birds

The Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory (PEPtBO) is delving into the most intimate of subjects – the private lives of birds – at its annual gala and silent auction, Saturday, Oct. 28 at 6 p.m. at the Waring House in Picton.

Dr. Bridget Stutchbury

This evening offers birders and everyone with an interest in the natural world the unique opportunity to hear world-renowned avian researcher Dr. Bridget Stutchbury as after-dinner speaker.

She has authored several books, including “The Private Lives of Birds” and “Silence of the Songbirds” (with John Flicker.) On Saturday, Dr. Stutchbury will focus her remarks on her most recent research in tracking young Wood Thrushes on migration using the new Motus tracking system.

Both the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory and Sandbanks host receivers for this system. Dr. Stutchbury is a Distinguished Professor and Canada Research Chair in Ecology and Conservation Biology at York University.

Wood Thrush

This evening celebrates another successful research season at the Bird Observatory. Almost 500 Northern Saw-whet Owls have been banded this season. Banding continues until the end of October (with the exception of October 28), and visitors are welcome. (Hours and conditions at

The fall raptor migration is always exciting as these majestic birds gather in kettles along the South Shore waiting for a favourable wind to carry them over Lake Ontario.

The small passerines are also making their way south, spending time feeding on the south shore and gathering strength for their long journeys. It is time to prepare for winter too, for the banders and volunteers at the Bird Observatory and that means securing the facilities and wrapping up the data collection for the year.

However, activities of the volunteer board of the bird observatory do not end when the observatory closes. As a charity, the observatory is totally self- funded. Research and outreach programs are financed by memberships, donations and activities such as the annual gala dinner, biodiversity friendly coffee sales, and an annual raffle. This year’s raffle prizes are a 13’ kayak from ClearWater Design in the County, a gas barbecue from Home Hardware (Picton) and binoculars from Eagle Optics. The silent auction this year features a Tilly vest, a special edition of Audubon’s “Birds of America,” a handmade quilt, original artwork, crafts and certificates for cooking classes, accommodation, services and tickets to special events and theatre performances.

A few tickets for the dinner remain. They cost $75 per person and include a fine meal. A tax receipt will be available for the non-food portion of the ticket. To obtain tickets, go to or call Cheryl Anderson 613-849-7743.

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