July 2017

JULY 2017 News from Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory


Spring Birding Festival May 2017

A big thank you to the committee and all our wonderful volunteers who helped make the Spring Birding Festival a great event.  We welcomed hundreds of visitors from far and near to observe the spring migration.  The weather was sometimes cool and wet, and flooding along the lake made it impossible to reach the lighthouse, but all events went ahead as planned.  Members completed the Great Canadian Birdathon, PEC Field Naturalists led hikes around the County and the Big Day in the IBA counted more than 120 species.  A few rarities also showed up (Fish Crow, Yellow-breasted Chat) to be added to life lists.  Thanks also to our bander David Okines and assistant Jacques Turner-Moss for demonstrating banding operations at the Observatory.

Second Prize:  Ian Dickinson


Third Prize:  (Tie) 

Dennis Smyth and Kyle Blaney



Photo Contest 2017

Thanks to all who submitted excellent photos for this year’s contest that featured birds of the IBA.  At the Annual Meeting (May 27), members and friends voted for the winners. 

First Prize :  Hélène Tremblay

You can see all contest submissions here.

Big Day in the IBA

On May 21st, PEPtBO birders responded to the challenge from the Gosling Foundation to find as many species in the South Shore IBA as possible in a 24-hour period.  The Foundation offered $50 for every species identified to help with conservation work in the IBA.  Guided hikes ran all day along the South Shore despite cold east winds and showers and individuals combed the woods, fields and wetlands.

In the end we found 121 species, the last being ‘our’ Chuck-will’s-widow who called briefly in the dark during a 5-minute pause in the pouring rain.  Thanks to all leaders and birders and to the Gosling Foundation.

For a full report of the day by Ian Dickinson with photos and a species list, see the website:


Raffle 2017

There is still time to get your tickets for our 2017 Raffle.  Winning tickets will be drawn on Oct. 28 at our annual Fall Dinner and Silent Auction. 

Contact info@peptbo.ca for ticket requests.

You can also purchase your tickets by visiting County Drugstore, 219 Picton Main St, Picton.

Prizes include:

A kayak from ClearWater Design

A gas BBQ from Picton Home Hardware

Binoculars from Eagle Optics

Please Support our Sponsors

While shopping at The Local Store for PEPtBO's shade-grown, biodiversity-friendly coffee or for PEPtBO greeting cards, (http://local-pec.com/) you may also be interested in finding a copy of Gander the Goose Celebrates Canada (by Linda LaBourdais-Near). The Local Store will donate 20% of the proceeds of the book to PEPtBO."

International Migratory Bird Day

PEPtBO celebrated International Migratory Bird Day and the centenary of the signing of the Migratory Birds Convention Act using a grant from Wildlife Habitat Canada through Nature Canada.  The grant was apportioned in two parts.  Part one was used for radio announcements and advertisements on County FM for the Spring Birding Festival, Nature Matters! booklet and International Migratory Bird Day. 

The second part of the grant money was used for materials to build a Barn Swallow alternate nesting structure.  The nesting structure was constructed in pieces at Prince Edward Collegiate by the wood working classes.  David Okines picked it up the pieces and transported them to the Bird Observatory. It was put together and shingled on June 22.  Allen Kuja, Borys Holowacz, John Hirsch and Mike Burge helped Peter Mulloy, Ron Furlan (teachers) and his son Nathanial with the construction.  The structure is situated across the road from the Bird Observatory and will eventually be surrounded by a cedar rail fence.

For those unfamiliar with Wildlife Habitat Canada this explanation is provided:

“Since 1985, Wildlife Habitat Canada, a national, non-profit, charitable conservation organization, has invested over $50 million supporting more than 1,000 conservation projects across Canada, through its granting program. Funds invested to support grants come from the purchase of the Canadian Wildlife Habitat Conservation Stamp. The Stamp is purchased primarily by waterfowl hunters to validate their Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permits. Wildlife Habitat Canada works through partnerships with communities, landowners, governments, non-government organizations, and industry to conserve, enhance, and restore wildlife habitat. To learn more about the projects that Wildlife Habitat Canada has funded, please visit www.whc.org. 

Without habitat...there is no wildlife. It’s that simple!”




    NatureHood at PEPtBO

NatureHood is funded by Environment Canada through Nature Canada.  The funding allows for a stipend to schools to help with transportation to the Bird Observatory and pays for two outdoor educators who design and carry out the programs.  Currently Mark Read and Cheryl Chapman fill these positions. Eight primary school classes visited the Bird Observatory in the Spring Season.  NatureHood also funds programs at community libraries and for youth groups throughout the County when the Bird Observatory is not operating.

At the Bird Observatory the children are introduced to migration monitoring through observing banding and an explanation of the mist nets and how they work to capture the birds.  They experience migration through a game that introduces all the obstacles that birds encounter on their trips back and forth to the boreal forest from South and Central America.  They learn about bird anatomy and feeding strategies through a demonstration of bird skeletons that emphasizes different head and beak structures.

Below is a typical comment from a teacher after her class has been to the Bird Observatory:

“Thanks so much for a fantastic visit. The students were very engaged and had a great learning experience. The migration game was a great way for the kids to get some exercise and also solidified the concept of habitats. It was very suitable to the curriculum areas that they are studying in grade 4. 

The funding provided was especially appreciated. I will be sure to share the info with our school for next year.”

PEPtBO Elected Board Members for 2017
Cheryl Anderson (Past President)
Peter Fuller (President)
John Hirsch (Vice President)
Helen Fearman (Treasurer)
Mike Burge (Director, Volunteers)
Rob Christie (Director, Membership)
Kathy Felkar (Director, Fundraising)
Borys Holowacz (Director, Fundraising)
Joanne Sulzenko (Director, Fundraising)
Hélène Tremblay (Director, Newsletter)