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Bird Day Eh: Canadian Birders Come Together
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Bird Day Eh: Canadian Birders Come Together

Every year, the second Saturday of the month of May is dedicated to celebrating the journey of migratory birds for World Migratory Bird Day. Last Saturday, May 12th, Canadians in over forty-five cities across the country celebrated the return of migratory birds at Bird Day events. It was a day of celebration marked by nature walks, bird counts, & activities for birders of all ages to learn more about the journey and challenges that millions of migratory birds face every year to return to Canada. This year was the 25th anniversary of the celebration, and to commemorate this milestone, Nature Canada teamed up with Bird Studies Canada and Quebec Oiseaux to create and provide support to a network of organizations hosting Bird Day events across Canada. There were a combined forty-eight events in British-Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova-Scotia, Prince-Edward-Island and Newfoundland & Labrador. Here are a few photos from the event that took place in Ottawa, at the Ottawa Children's Festival at LeBreton Flats Park. We were honoured to have Algonquin Elder, Annie Smith St-George open the day with a smudging ceremony, and that Environment and Climate Change Minster Catherine McKenna attended the event to lend her voice to birds in Canada.


[caption id="attachment_36910" align="alignleft" width="383"] Falcon Ed at the Ottawa Bird Day Event.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_36905" align="alignright" width="389"] Young Nature lover at the Ottawa Bird Day Event.[/caption]              

Nature Canada would also like to thank it's local partner, Earth Path, for joining in on the fun with many bird-related activities at the Festival. As well, we would like to acknowledge the financial support of Science Odyssey, without which this World Migratory Bird Day Event could not have taken place.
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Dozens of Events Welcome Birds Back to Canada
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Dozens of Events Welcome Birds Back to Canada

OTTAWA, ON (May 7, 2018) - Dozens of groups from coast to coast are celebrating World Migratory Bird Day this coming Saturday, May 12, with events ranging from bird watching to face painting. Spring is when hundreds of species of birds are on the move, with many returning to Canada from as far away as South America. “We’re thrilled so many groups are participating in this year’s Bird Day,” said Graham Saul, Executive Director of Nature Canada. “Birds go through incredible journeys to be with us, and we owe it to them to step up our conservation efforts so that they can continue to thrive.” A new report from BirdLife International, State of the World’s Birds 2018, reinforces what we already knew - birds are in trouble. Forty percent of the world’s 11,000 bird species are in decline, and one in eight bird species is threatened with global extinction. Threats to birds include habitat loss, climate change, chemical use, window collisions and outdoor domestic cats. Nature Canada and its partners encourage Canadians to take positive actions on behalf of birds, including keeping cats safe from roaming, making their gardens bird-friendly, reducing window and car collisions, and celebrating birds -- on Bird Day and throughout the year. World Migratory Bird Day was created in 1993 and is a project of Environment for the Americas to raise awareness on the need to conserve birds and their habitats. “Birds are a fantastic subject matter to engage people in nature,” says Jody Allair, National Conservation Outreach Manager for Bird Studies Canada. “Participating in a bird-themed event on World Migratory Bird Day is a sure-fire way to become inspired by Canada’s amazing birdlife.” “With the arrival all of these migratory birds happening in May, it seems as though nature is making its claim against the long winter that we just had,” says Jean-Sébastien Guénette, director of Québec Oiseaux. “It is by far the most exciting time of year for ornithologists and nature lovers alike.” Groups across the country have listed their events on a map hosted at www.birdday.ca [journeedesoiseaux.ca]. The World Migratory Bird Day initiative in Canada is a joint project of Nature Canada, Bird Studies Canada and Québec Oiseaux.


For more information contact: Graham Saul at 613-710-2819 Jody Allair at 519-586-3531 ext.117 Jean-Sébastien Guénette at 514-252-3190
ABOUT NATURE CANADA Nature Canada is the oldest national nature conservation charity in Canada. Over the past 75 years, Nature Canada has helped protect more than 63 million acres of parks and wildlife areas in Canada and countless species that depend on this habitat. Today, Nature Canada represents a network comprised of over 65,000 members and supporters and more than 350 nature organizations across the country with affiliates in every province. Learn how you can support our nature conservation efforts across Canada
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Migratory Birds Overcome Challenges – Including Flooding – To Return to Canada “Ottawa Bird Day” Celebrates Their Homecoming
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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) ABOUT NATURE CANADA Nature Canada is the oldest national nature conservation charity in Canada. Over the past 75 years, Nature Canada has helped protect more than 63 million acres of parks and wildlife areas in Canada and countless species that depend on this habitat. Today, Nature Canada represents a network comprised of over 45,000 members and supporters and more than 350 nature organizations across the country with affiliates in every province. Learn how you can support our nature conservation efforts across Canada

Celebrate “Canada Birds!”
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Celebrate “Canada Birds!”

Did you know there are about 450 species of birds found in Canada? Of those, three are (or were) actually named after our country. Here is some basic information about these “Canada birds!” [caption id="attachment_32525" align="alignright" width="300"]image of a Gray Jay Gray "Canada" Jay[/caption]

Canada Jay

The Gray Jay was known as the “Canada Jay” until The American Ornithologists' Union 5th edition, published in 1957. It is also known as “Whiskey Jack”—an English variation on its Algonquin name “Wisakajack,” which refers to a forest trickster spirit found in Algonquian mythology. In French, it continues to go by the name “Mésangeai du Canada.” We love the name Mésangeai because it combines the concept of two families of birds into one – the Jays (les Geais) and the Chickadees (les Mésanges) into one bird.  And the Mésangeai does not disappoint as it looks like a giant Chickadee, and it seems to capture the curious or trusting nature, storing habits, survival skills and cuteness factor of both families. In 2016, Canadian Geographic’s “National Bird Project” picked the Gray Jay as its official choice for Canada’s national bird. The aim of the project is to recommend a bird to the government in the hopes of having a national bird declared for Canada’s 150th anniversary.
  • Common name: Gray Jay
  • Scientific name: Perisoreus Canadensis
  • Other names: Whiskey Jack, Mésangeai du Canada (French)
  • Range: Throughout Canada; year-round
  • Description: Gray Jays are relatively large songbirds with a short bill, a rounded head and a long tail. They are dark grey above and light grey below, and the back of their head is black.
[caption id="attachment_32527" align="alignleft" width="300"]image of a Canada Warbler Canada Warbler[/caption]

Canada Warbler

The Canada Warbler, formerly “Canadian Warbler” in The American Ornithologists' Union 1st and 2nd editions, is a small songbird that arrives in Canada in late May for its breeding season. In fact, eighty-five percent of the global breeding population occurs in Canada. Currently, the Canada Warbler’s status under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) is “Threatened” and it is also designated as “Threatened” according to the 2008 assessment by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). Between 1997 and 2007, the Canada Warbler saw a 43% decline. The most likely factors in this decline are believed to be habitat loss and degradation in its wintering region. If you are portaging along a river on the Canadian shield or int the boreal forest in June, you may hear the complex song of this golden bird burst forth from the tumbled over tree roots and mossy boulders.
  • Common name: Canada Warbler
  • Scientific name: Cardellina canadensis
  • Range: YT, NWT, BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, PEI, NS; in the summer
  • Description: The Canada Warbler is a small, brightly coloured songbird. Males are typically more vibrant than females, blue-grey above with a yellow underbody. The Canada Warbler has a thin bill and has yellow “spectacles” around its eyes.
[caption id="attachment_32526" align="alignright" width="300"]image of a Canada Goose Canada Goose[/caption]

Canada Goose

The Canada Goose is a bird extremely common in Canada, despite being nearly driven to extinction in the early 1900s. There are 11 subspecies of Canada Goose, though the four smallest are now known distinctly as Cackling Goose. Along with the Canada Jay, the Canada Goose made it to the top five birds in the running for Canadian Geographic’s “National Bird Project.” Canada Geese are a staple in the food supply of the Cree living around James Bay.
  • Common name: Canada Goose
  • Scientific name: Branta Canadensis
  • Range: Throughout Canada; in the summer
  • Description: The Canada Goose is a large waterbird with a signature black neck and a white chinstrap. Its back is brown and its underside is tan. It has webbed feet and a flat bill.
Have you spotted one on these birds in your neighbourhood? Let us know in the comments, or send us pictures through Facebook or Twitter!
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Ottawa Bird Day 2017
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Ottawa Bird Day 2017

Join Nature Canada in celebrating International Migratory Bird Day at Brewer Park in Ottawa, on May 13, 2017 officially starting at 10:00 am with a bird banding demonstration beginning at 8:00 am. To register for the bird banding, please click here. This event will happen rain or shine. There will be a spectacular and unforgettable live birds-of-prey demonstration, guided bird walks around Brewer Park led by expert naturalists, as well as words of welcome from local dignitaries and Nature Canada. Local groups conducting important bird conservation actions will be present and ready to showcase their efforts. [caption id="attachment_32840" align="alignnone" width="940"]Image of 2016 Bird Day Event 2016 Bird Day Event. Photography by Nina Stavlund[/caption] Schedule for the day [custom_table style="1"]

 8:00 am - 9:30 am  Early Bird Activity: Nature Canada’s very own licensed bird bander, Ted Cheskey, will give a bird banding demonstration at Brewer Park. Please register for this event here.
10:00 am  Opening Ceremonies with special guests:
  • Barbara Dumont Hill, Spirit Keeper (opening Algonquin prayer)
  • Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, MP Ottawa Centre
  • Councillor David Chernushenko, Capital Ward
 10:30 am  Birds-of-Prey Flight Show
 11:00 am – 1:00 pm  Guided Bird Walks
 11:00 am – 1:00pm  Informal arts and crafts for kids
 11:00 am  Storytelling in Children’s Tent
 11:30 am  Visual Scavenger Hunt
 12:00 pm   Storytelling in Children’s Tent and a visual scavenger hunt
 12:30 pm  Birds-of-Prey Flight Show
[/custom_table] Plan your trip to Nature Canada’s Bird Day Bird Day will be held at Brewer Park, 100 Brewer Way, Ottawa, located right across from Carleton University and off of Bronson Ave. Due to the flooding of the Rideau River, the event site has moved to an area further north of the park. Follow the signs towards the school and arena. Partners Image of a Environment of the Americas logo Environment Canada Logo Science Odyssey Logo Wildlife Habitat Canada Logo

International Migratory Bird Day celebration in Brewer Park Ottawa
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International Migratory Bird Day celebration in Brewer Park Ottawa

Media Advisory

Saturday May 14, 2016

Who: Hosted by Nature Canada, Canada’s oldest nature conservation charity.

When: Saturday May 14, 2016. 10:00 am to 1:30 pm

Where: Brewer Park in Ottawa, on May 14, 2016 starting at 10am.

International Migratory Bird Day (Bird Day) is an annual celebration in the Americas to raise public awareness about migratory birds and to support their conservation. Eighty percent of Canadian bird species migrate beyond our borders each year to escape the cold and lack of food of the Canadian winter, facing innumerable challenges to their survival along their migration routes.  Those that survive and are able to return in the spring surely deserve a warm welcome!  Bird Day 2016 will also mark the Centenary of the signing of the Migratory Bird Convention, a treaty made between Canada and the United States to protect and conserve migratory birds.

Nature Canada supports Bird Day events with partners across Canada, and is holding its very own event in Ottawa this Saturday, May 14.  Join us to welcome back the birds at Brewer Park, near Carleton University, this Saturday morning.  There will be a spectacular and unforgettable live birds-of-prey demonstration, guided bird walks around Brewer Park led by expert naturalists, a bird banding demonstration, as well as words of welcome from Canada’s first ornithologist MP, Mr. Richard Cannings, and City Councillor David Chernushenko, all hosted by popular CBC radio personality Giacomo Panico.

For more information, contact Ted Cheskey at 613 562 3447 ext 227 or tcheskey@naturecanada.ca

Join us for our 2016 Bird Day!
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Join us for our 2016 Bird Day!

Join Nature Canada in celebrating International Migratory Bird Day on Bird Day at Brewer Park in Ottawa, on May 14, 2016 starting at 10am. International Migratory Bird Day is an annual celebration to raise public awareness about migratory birds and to provide information on ways to support their conservation. This year’s event will also mark the centenary of the signing of the Migratory Bird Convention, a legislative agreement made between Canada and the United States to protect and conserve migratory birds. There will be a spectacular and unforgettable live birds-of-prey demonstration, guided bird walks around Brewer Park led by expert naturalists, as well as words of welcome from Canada’s first ornithologist MP, Mr. Richard Cannings, and City Councillor David Chernushenko, all hosted by popular CBC radio personality Giacomo Panico. Local groups conducting important bird conservation actions will be present and ready to present their efforts. [caption id="attachment_27257" align="aligncenter" width="960"]photos of Bird Day 2015 Photography by Susanne Ure of the Bird Day Fair 2015[/caption] Bird Day Poster [separator headline="h2" title="Schedule for the day"] Early Bird Activity: Nature Canada's very own licensed bird bander, Ted Cheskey, will give a bird banding demonstration at Brewer Park from 8:00 am-9:30 am [separator headline="h2" title="Plan your trip to Nature Canada's Bird Day"] Bird Day will be held at Brewer Park, 100 Brewer Way, Ottawa, located right across from Carleton University and off of Bronson Ave. [separator headline="h2" title="Partners"]

 Image of a Environment of the Americas logo  Environment Canada and Climate Change  Image of the Science Odyssey Logo  Image of Wildlife Habitat Canada Logo

   
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Nature as our Playground
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Nature as our Playground

[caption id="attachment_21100" align="alignleft" width="150"] Sandy Sharkey - Photographer[/caption] (The following is a guest blog from one of our newest Women for Nature, Sandy Sharkey who is a radio morning show announcer on Boom 99.7 by day and photographer and nature explorer by heart. Growing up, she spent countless hours catching frogs, saving baby birds, and poring over every page of the complete Funk and Wagnalls Wildlife Encyclopedia series… dreaming about seeing each and every one of the animals in those books. You can see more of her amazing photography and thoughts about how amazing nature is at her blog Cabin Road Art.) [caption id="attachment_23578" align="alignright" width="300"]bee and flower (1 of 1) Sandy Sharkey Photo of a bee and flower, by Sandy Sharkey[/caption] I remember seeing the police car up the street but thought nothing of it, being six years old  and quite content with the fact that I had just caught a bucket full of tiny spring frogs. I had no idea that the police car was in fact searching for me. Or that  my family and most of the neighbours were also searching for me. Each day I would normally walk home from Grade 1 and be in my backyard by mid-afternoon. But this day was different, because my class-mate Stewart had told me that there were ‘tons of tiny frogs’ in the swamp behind his house, so naturally I had to investigate. I didn’t think twice about the fact that Stewart’s house was several blocks away, or that anyone would have an issue with my froggy adventure. Once I arrived at Stewart’s place and saw all those hopping frogs, I didn’t have a care in the world. The sun was hanging low in the sky when I finally stopped collecting frogs in a bucket and started to make my way back home. And right after I saw the police car, I saw my Dad. His face was filled with emotion and relief but I also got a stern ‘talking to’, and I was marched back home, where I watched in horror as my Dad took my bucket of tiny spring frogs and emptied all their wiggly bodies onto the grass behind our house. And as spring turned to summer, in the backyard of a red brick house on a very busy street in the suburbs, my tiny frogs grew into adulthood and croaked loudly each and every night. I thought that was fantastic. [caption id="attachment_24239" align="alignleft" width="300"]Photo of crows in a snowstorm Photo of crows in a snowstorm by Sandy Sharkey[/caption] Like all the kids in my neighbourhood, nature was not only the backdrop to our childhood, it was how how we spent our days. And we didn’t have to go far to find it. We knew where the garter snakes sunned themselves, which tree branches held the raucous crow nests, and we knew where the turtles would poke their heads through the bulrushes in the nearby swamp. I also grew to learn that I didn’t need buckets or jars or nets. It was much more enjoyable to find creatures in their natural habitat and if it was just for a glance or a fleeting moment, the sight of a butterfly hitching a ride on a breeze became much richer to me than staring at the hapless insect through an empty peanut butter jar. My parents were like all the other parents on the street. They allowed us to treat nature as one giant playground. Sometimes I would run into my brother or sister by the creek or inside my favourite forest (which exists no more, it is a medical centre today) and we were all doing the same thing. Growing up, exploring, observing, playing, learning and whether we knew it or not, we were developing a very strong appreciation for nature. I knew what an American goldfinch was by the time I was 7 or 8, mostly because my Mom called these birds ‘wild canaries’ and I believed her until I got an armload of bird books for my birthday and looked up the actual name for the bird.  My Mom still called them wild canaries. Having a strong childhood connection to nature can lay the foundation for a lifetime of respect for our natural world. It is true that the world today is much different than it was for generations from the 60’s, 70’s, even the 80’s.  Computer games and mobile devices challenge the number of hours in a day that a kid spends outside. Many urban developments take out every tree in a forest, eliminating the rich biodiversity that grew over hundreds of years. But things are getting better. Nature Canada’s 45,000 members and supporters have a strong voice to effect change for nature conservation in both rural and urban communities. Technology and nature don’t have to be mutually exclusive, and there are hundreds of mobile ‘apps’ that identify everything from bird sounds to the bright green moss at the foot of a tree. Digital cameras give children a wonderful view of the natural world. Strapping on a GoPro for a nature hike is exhilarating, healthy, and it feeds a passion for further adventure. Today, a neighbourhood forest. Tomorrow, a mountain top. [caption id="attachment_23587" align="alignright" width="300"]bird day (1 of 1) Sandy sharkey Photo of children at the Bird Day Fair, by Sandy Sharkey[/caption] This past summer, I co-hosted Nature Canada’s ‘Bird Day in Ottawa’, a lively day with educational booths, a birds of prey demonstration, entertainment, and the unveiling of ‘The Official Bird of Ottawa’ (the chickadee). Local school children surprised us with their ‘Flamingo Dance’. It  didn’t matter that we don’t have flamingos in Ottawa (except for a wayward Chilean flamingo dubbed ‘Elisha’ that mysteriously appeared by the Ottawa River in 1997). It was a beautiful day and there were hundreds of children giggling with enthusiasm and peppering the bird experts with questions. Encouraging today’s children to connect with nature is the best way to ensure that nature is protected forever. I am thrilled to be a member of Nature Canada’s ‘Women for Nature’ initiative. Let’s work together to ensure that nature continues to be the ultimate backdrop for children for generations to come. Besides, nature is COOL.  And we get to wear muddy boots. [rev_slider sandyblog] Email Signup

The Third Annual Bird Day Fair Soars
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The Third Annual Bird Day Fair Soars

On Saturday May 30, 2015 Nature Canada hosted the third annual Bird Day Fair at Andrew Haydon Park. It was a day where Canadian's welcomed back our migratory birds in a celebration of International Migratory Bird Day in the national capital region's own Important Bird Area. 80% of the bird species that we consider Canadian birds leave our borders every fall and return every spring. Bird Day connects communities across the Northern Hemisphere in a celebration of this incredible journey. [caption id="attachment_21236" align="aligncenter" width="940"]photo of bird banding Banding an American Robin. Photography by Susanne Ure[/caption] Excited early risers joined Nature Canada’s very own licensed bird bander, Ted Cheskey in the early bird activity: a bird banding demonstration. Ted and his assistants caught an American Robin (pictured above) and a Song Sparrow. Bird banding is a popular research method used by scientists to study birds and learn about their migration and survival. The information collected when the bird is captured along with the band number is shared on a central database that registered bird banders can access. Some birds are caught two or more times at the same or different locations. Participants at the event also had the opportunity to visit the Innis Point Bird Observatory’s booth and learn about bird banding first hand by being banded themselves. Each band shared a number with a bird banded at Innis Point Bid Observatory. You can see which birds were chosen and learn about their story here. [caption id="attachment_21237" align="aligncenter" width="940"]photo of the Bird Day Fair 2015 the 2015 Bird Day Fair at Andrew Haydon Park. Photography by Susanne Ure[/caption] 24 local groups hosted a booth at the Bird Day Fair to talk about the excellent work they do to protect wildlife and connect Canadian’s to nature and adventure in the city and beyond. [caption id="attachment_21238" align="aligncenter" width="940"]photo of a child completing the activity passport at the Bird Day Fair 2015 Photography by Susanne Ure[/caption] An activity passport encouraged children to visit the booths and ask questions. A correct answer was rewarded with a stamp or sticker, and children who answered all the questions visited the Nature Canada booth for a prize. [caption id="attachment_21239" align="aligncenter" width="940"]nest building activity at the Bird Day Fair 2015 Photography by Susanne Ure[/caption] Local artist Sally Lee Sheeks was back this year with her popular nest building activity. Children used sticks and branches to build a bird’s nest large enough for a person to sit in. Building a nest is more difficult than it looks, and the birds have to do it all with their beaks! [caption id="attachment_21241" align="aligncenter" width="940"]Eagle mascot at the Bird Day Fair 2015 Photography by Susanne Ure[/caption] A giant Eagle also joined the celebrations. Although his day was busy posing for photos, here he is helping a volunteer take a survey. Surveys are an important way for us to learn about what we are doing right, and what we can improve on for next year. The feedback we have received on these surveys has been extremely useful, so a big thank you to everyone who took the time to share their thoughts. [caption id="attachment_21242" align="aligncenter" width="940"]Falcon Ed at the Bird Day Fair 2015 Photography by Susanne Ure[/caption] Falcon Ed was back with their live birds of prey. These birds are always a crowd favourite and wowed the crowd all day long at the Falcon Ed booth. Participants got to meet Phoennix the Harris Hawk (pictured above), Darwin the Great Horned Owl and Dexter the Peregrine Falcon. [caption id="attachment_21243" align="aligncenter" width="940"]Little Rays Reptiles at the Bird Day Fair 2015 Photography by Julia Gamble[/caption] Little Ray’s Reptiles presented their "Endangered Ontario" show at the Bird Day Fair and captivated the audience. Their show featured 2 birds of prey, 2 ferrets, 2 snakes, 2 turtles an amphibian and a fox - all from Ontario of course! [caption id="attachment_21244" align="aligncenter" width="940"]Print making activity at the Bird Day Fair 2015 Photography by Susanne Ure[/caption] Young and young at heart alike got to try out their artistic skills with help from local artist Lyle Docherty in a print making activity. Lyle had prepared templates of an American Robin, a Blue Jay (pictured above), a Bald Eagle, a Common Loon and a Canadian Goose for people to create their own work of art. [caption id="attachment_21245" align="aligncenter" width="940"]Mayor Waston and Giacomo Panico announce the Ottawa's Bird Contest winner And the winner is.... Photography by Julia Gamble[/caption] And the winner of the unofficial Bird of Ottawa Contest is ......... the Black-capped Chickadee! On April 25 CBC radio’s In Town and Out asked listeners and followers of the weekly Tweet of the Week segment to nominate their favourite. After a month of voting and over 3,300 submissions the winner was announced at the Bird Day Fair by Mayor Jim Watson and Giacomo Panico. The Black-capped Chickadee was the clear favourite with 42% of the votes. The Common Raven gained a great deal of support near the end of the competition, but was not able to overtake the lead, ending with 32% of the vote. [caption id="attachment_21269" align="aligncenter" width="940"]Photography by Susanne Ure A Flamingo Flash Mob. Photography by Susanne Ure[/caption] A flock of migrating Flamingos go blown very off course, astonishing and amazing attendees of the Bird Day Fair with their coordinated moves. Young dancers from Lakeview Public School dressed as Flamingos made a surprise appearance at the Bird Day Fair to perform their Flamingo Dance choreographed by dance teacher Lindsay Mattesz. This performance was clearly a crowd favourite. [caption id="attachment_21246" align="aligncenter" width="940"]Purple Martin colony The Purple Martin Colony at the Nepean Sailing Club. Photography by Julia Gamble[/caption] Nature Canada is working on the Purple Martin project, an international collaboration with Purple Matin landloards, university researchers, naturalists groups, and the Canadian Wildlife Service to help protect and recover declining Purple Martin populations. We are using GPS tracking devices to follow them on their migration journey to their wintering grounds in order to understand the risks they face. One colony that Nature Canada is studying is just a short walk from Andrew Haydon Park at the Nepean Sailing Club. A guided walk led by the Purple Martin project coordinator gave people the opportunity to see these birds up close and in action. If you look closely you just might be able to see a tracking device or a coloured leg band on one of these birds. [caption id="attachment_21265" align="aligncenter" width="940"]Photography by Susanne Ure Tony Beck of Always an Adventure captivates the crowd as he shares his nature photography tips. Photography by Susanne Ure[/caption] Participants at the Bird Day Fair were invited to join a guided walk to learn the basics of birding, get some tips to improve their nature photos and more. [caption id="attachment_21267" align="aligncenter" width="940"]Photography by Susanne Ure Photography by Susanne Ure [/caption] And what’s a Bird Day Fair without bird watching? This family of ducks posed for the cameras. Some other species that we expected to see at the park are; Purple Martin, Tree Swallow, Yellow-rumped Warbler, American Redstart, Ring-billed Gull, Killdeer, Canada Goose, American Goldfinch, Yellow Warbler and Hooded Merganser. Thank you to our Event Partners and Sponsors who made this day possible!

Environment for the Americas logo Ottawa Field Naturalists logo OC Transpo logo Wild Birds Unlimited logo
Nikon logo Henry's logo Richie Feed and Seed logo White Swan logo

International Day of Biological Diversity
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International Day of Biological Diversity

[caption id="attachment_16443" align="alignleft" width="150"]Eleanor Fast Eleanor Fast
Executive Director[/caption] Today is International Day for Biological Diversity, an opportunity for everyone around the world to focus on the incredible diversity of species on earth and our interconnectedness with them. At Nature Canada, we focus on protecting Canadian wildlife, but everyday our work shows us the truly international nature of biodiversity, and the importance of worldwide efforts to protect it. For example, protecting the Monarch butterfly cannot be achieved simply by actions in Canada, although they are important. We need coordinated action across the Monarch’s migration route, with Mexico and the United States. Our work in protecting migratory birds, such as the Canada Warbler, Purple Martin and Red Knot similarly depend on international collaboration throughout their entire range. May is a special month for Nature Canada members as we celebrate International Migratory Bird Day with events across the country. Next year, 2016, will be particularly special as we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Migratory Bird Convention. Plant milkweed to protect monarch butterfliesThe Migratory Birds Convention is a great example of countries working together to protect wildlife, and Nature Canada was pleased to see the importance of these types of agreements recognized in the recent signing of a trilateral agreement with Mexico and the US to protect bats, as well as the commitment of the leaders of the three countries to protect monarchs. We look forward to seeing Canada match funding commitments from other countries to give teeth to these recent agreements and allow the urgent action needed to protect these species before it is too late. canada-warbler-2015North American collaboration is an important focus for Canada in wildlife conservation, but so much more is possible. On this United Nations International Day of Biodiversity let’s remember than the UN’s Office of the Convention on Biological Diversity is located right here in Canada, in Montreal. That gives us a special relationship with United Nations efforts to protect biodiversity, yet Canada has not signed the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals. Canada has all the ingredients to be leading the world on issues of biodiversity – majestic wild spaces and awe-inspiring wildlife, strong legislation in the Species at Risk Act (SARA), a recent re-commitment to biodiversity goals and targets, international agreements to protect wildlife, and neighbours who have put money on the table. But as a country we need to step up and do more to preserve habitats in Canada and around the world for our treasured biodiversity.

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