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Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory will remain closed this fall

The small Blue Grey Gnatcatcher breeds in Prince Edward County. – PEPtBO photo

The public won’t be flocking to the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory (PEPtBO) this fall when bird banding resumes.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of all spring banding activity, and the observatory will remain closed to the public as it begins its migratory bird banding and monitoring program on Aug. 15.

PEPtBO is a registered charity, run by volunteers, with a mandate to monitor, report on and promote analysis of bird migration along PEC South Shore and to act as official caretaker of the South Shore Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA.)

PEPtBO President Julie White welcomes some resumption of activity at Point Traverse.

“We are very pleased that head bander Blair Dudek and assistant bander Megan Buers will soon begin their important work, which continues until the end of October,” she said. “Given uncertainties and concerns around COVID-19, PEPtBO now has taken the decision to close the observatory to visitors for the duration of migration monitoring.”

Access to the observatory’s trails and facilities will also remain off-limits to the public.

“We haven’t taken this step lightly. We do so recognizing we need to put the safety of our staff and volunteers first, as we meet our obligations as a member of the Canadian Migration Monitoring Network.”

Given how many nature-lovers look forward to visiting the observatory during this period of high activity when thousands of birds come through the South Shore IBA in the County on their way to warmer climates, PEPtBO is exploring ways virtual visitors can be kept up-to-date on species seen and banded at Point Traverse.

PEPtBO is also continuing its Get Out! Kids’ Club online, which includes full access to dozens of safe, outdoor activities for children and families, weekly notifications of new resources, and links to nature sites.

The club encourages families with youngsters between the ages of three and 13 to experience nature in their neighbourhood. Membership is free of charge. Click here for details and to download a sample activity,  and click here to see the Get Out! Kids’ Club on Facebook. 

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