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Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory wraps up spring monitoring

By Cheryl Anderson
Another spring season at the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory has been completed as bander-in-charge David Okines, and assistant Lisa Martell have furled the nets and removed poles and ropes.

The banding lab has been swept out and all the data has been entered. Those colourful warblers that have delighted visitors all spring have moved north to the Boreal Forest to raise their young and feast on the plentiful caterpillars and moths. Soon they will be heading back south again before returning to visit in their drab fall plumage, but until then things are silent at the Bird Observatory.

Over the spring season three guest banders were welcomed – two from opposite ends of Ontario and one from Belgium. Almost 3,800 birds of 70 species were banded and one new species was seen for the first time in the County.

The Swallowtail Kite brought the total number of avian species identified in Prince Edward County to 341. The spring is a busy season for the Observatory board and volunteers. Many projects are aimed at educating the public about birds and migration and also toward raising funds to keep the Bird Observatory running.

At this year’s Spring Birding Festival the public was invited to learn more about migration monitoring. Along with birding hikes and activities, enthusiasts had an opportunity to join with a local expert to explore birding in the South Shore Important Bird and Biodiversity Area.

On World Bird Day local naturalist and expert birder, Terry Sprague introduced visitors to the world of Swallows. At the annual members’ meeting local journalist and expert birder, Pamela Stagg informed about the techniques used to investigate migration and reveal secrets that only birds know about their routes from one hemisphere to another.

Ten school classes from throughout Prince Edward, Hastings and Kingston area visited the observatory in April and May to take part in the NatureHood program. This free program offers students the chance to experience nature and learn about birds and migration with well qualified natural history educators.

The second edition of PEPtBO’s immensely popular booklet Nature Matters! was launched in April. This little booklet details outdoor free or almost free events through the May to October time period. The goal of Nature Matters! is to invite everyone to learn more about and enjoy the natural beauty of the south shore of Prince Edward County.
Fall season migration monitoring begins August 15. Visitors are always welcome at the Bird Observatory.

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