Fall banding takes place every day from mid-August to October 31 as long as it is not raining or too windy. Nets are open for 6 hours after dawn so it is best to visit the Observatory in mornings to see the birds up close. During the month of October, Saw-whet Owl banding takes place each evening (starting around 8:15 pm) - visitors are welcome. The Observatory closes for the season on Oct 31 but the trails around the Observatory and in the National Wildlife Area are open year-round.
(click here for MAPS and DIRECTIONS)
TIPS FOR VISITING the OBSERVATORY
Bring a jacket in case of rain or extra layers - weather can be very different down at the Observatory and the lake can make it cooler
Wear close-toed shoes or hiking boots
Mosquitoes are sometimes a problem - repellent may be useful but don't use it around the birds (i.e. at the nets or in the banding lab)
Long sleeves and long pants are recommended - a few places have poison ivy and there have been reports of ticks. Stay on paths and do a tick check after visiting the Point
Binoculars, if you have them, are useful for seeing birds in their habitat
While visitors are encouraged to observe the banding operations, please stay away from the mist nets in the net lanes. Only trained volunteers are allowed to extract birds from the nets and they are sometimes very busy - they may not be able to take time to talk with you. You can view the birds up close at the banding lab as they are banded.
On very busy days, when the bander and scribe have a lot of birds to process, there should be no talking in the lab. They are always more than willing to answer questions, but the birds come first, and they need to focus on their work. So watch, but please don’t talk or interrupt.
The Observatory is located on the Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area. Overnight camping and campfires are not permitted
Toilets are available, but there is no drinking water on site
Please respect the habitat and vegetation by staying on the road or trail
Enjoy the birds!