Migratory Birds Overcome Challenges – Including Flooding – To Return to Canada “Ottawa Bird Day” Celebrates Their Homecoming

Ottawa, ON (May 11, 2017) – Nature Canada and Canadian Biodiversity are hosting a free public event at Brewer Park on Saturday, May 13th, to welcome back the birds for International Migratory Bird Day. This is an annual celebration with this year marking the Centennial of the Migratory Bird Convention Act – Canada’s first wildlife law.

“Migratory birds are among nature’s most ambitious long-distance travellers. This spring birds are facing an extra challenge, with the cold and the historic flooding,” says Jill Sturdy, NatureHood Program Manager for Nature Canada. “That gives us more reason to reach out and let people know how they can help be a good neighbour to wildlife, which could include planting native plants, putting up a nestbox or bird feeder, or keeping your cats indoors.”

Ottawa Bird Day event at Brewer Park is from 10 am to 1 pm and begins with an Opening Prayer with Spirit Keeper Barbara Dumont Hill, and remarks from the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and MP for Ottawa Centre, David Chernushenko, City Councillor for Capital Ward, and Ted Cheskey of Nature Canada. Naturalist guides are leading walks in Brewer Park to observe birds and their habitat, and there are activities for all ages, indoors and outdoors, including a scavenger hunt, storytelling and crafts.

Ottawa area residents will learn more about birds, their migration challenges, and how to protect them. They will also get a rare chance to see hawks and owls and falcons in flight as part of a Birds of Prey demonstration. Similar events are taking place across the country and throughout the Americas, to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day.

“Just as the flooding forced many people from their homes, many birds saw their nests washed away and lost their eggs or hatchlings to the floodwaters,” explains Nature Canada Senior Conservation Manager Ted Cheskey. “Many migratory birds use this region for a place to rest on their migration further north, and they’re discovering that many of their usual stopover spots are underwater.”

“One third of North American bird species are considered highly vulnerable and in need of urgent conservation action,” says Cheskey. “Migratory songbirds like the Bay-breasted Warbler are in peril because of dramatic habitat loss in their wintering grounds in the south. There are things we are doing internationally to help, and there are things people can do right here at home.”

Ottawa Bird Day will take place rain or shine at Brewer Park from 10am to 1pm.

For the full schedule please click here.


For media assistance contact:

Andrea Prazmowski
613-296-2383 (cell)

Nature Canada contact:

Jill Sturdy, Nature Canada, 613-276-7226 (cell)
Ted Cheskey, Nature Canada, 613-323-3331 (cell)

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