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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

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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Celebrating Our Migratory Birds
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Celebrating Our Migratory Birds

[caption id="attachment_22916" align="alignleft" width="150"]Samantha Nurse, Web and Social Media Coordinator Samantha Nurse, Web and Social Media Coordinator[/caption] Each year, billions of migratory birds move across the Western Hemisphere to take advantage of the flushes of abundant food in breeding and non-breeding grounds. When food becomes less abundant and the days become shorter and cooler, more than 75% of our birds head south. In the spring, many species return to their Canadian breeding grounds. It’s a seasonal movement that is defined as migration and makes up a critical part of the annual cycle of a migratory bird. So this spring, look skyward and welcome home our migratory birds! Here are a few interesting facts about some of the feathered friends you might see this season. [separator headline="h2" title="Peregrine Falcon"] "Peregrine" means wanderer, an apt name since the population that winters in South America typically summer in the tundra - one of the longest migrations of any North American bird. [caption id="attachment_26341" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Peregrine falcon female by Larry Kirtley Peregrine falcon female by Larry Kirtley[/caption] [separator headline="h2" title="Ruby Throated Hummingbird"] The Ruby Throated Hummingbird is so tiny that it is sometimes mistaken for a moth. In earlier times people could not believe that a bird so small could travel all the way to South America and back every year, giving rise to the myth that hummingbirds travel on the wings of Canada Geese flying South. Ruby throat Hummingbird shutterstock_1953533 [separator headline="h2" title="Red Knot"] The Red Knot makes one of the longest yearly migrations of any bird from its Arctic breeding grounds in Northern Canada to Argentina, a distance of 15,000km. A Red Knot may fly the same distance as the Earth to the Moon before its 13th birthday. Red Knot

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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

Come out to the Bird Day Fair May 2015
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Come out to the Bird Day Fair May 2015

Bird Day Fair 2015 event poster Join Nature Canada at the third annual Bird Day Fair which will be held at Andrew Haydon Park in Ottawa on Saturday May 30, 2015 from 10am-3pm. Just as our migratory birds are returning to Canada from their wintering grounds south of the border, a huge celebration is unfolding across the continent to celebrate birds – and you can be part of it! Bird Day is a celebration of migratory birds and the wild spaces they inhabit. Join Nature Canada in a celebration of the incredible migration journey of birds through a day of fun activities for the whole family. There will be nature walks, crafts and activities, live animals, and an opportunity to meet local groups working to protect wildlife.     [caption id="attachment_20261" align="aligncenter" width="960"]photos from the Bird Day Fair 2014 Photography by Susanne Ure of the Bird Day Fair 2014[/caption] [separator headline="h2" title="Participating groups"] The following groups will host 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.

Always and Adventure logo BioRegional logo Canadian Geographic logo City Wide Sports logo
Falcon Ed logo FLAP Canada Ottawa Wing logo Girl Guides of Canada logo Greenspace Alliance of Canada's Capital Logo
Greening Sacred Spaces Ottawa Chapter logo Henry's logo Innis Point Bird Observatory logo Kitchen Cone logo
Lindian Enterprise logo Maser Gardeners of Ottawa Carleton logo Mississippi valley conservation authority logo Nature Conservancy of Canada logo
Ottawa Duck Club logo Ottawa Field Naturalists logo St John Ambulance logo Tucker House logo
Tree Ottawa logo Wax and Wings logo Wild Bird Care Centre logo Wild Birds Unlimited logo
Little Rays Reptile Zoo logo circus delights Sally Sheeks logo
Archy and Mehitabel logo Maria-Helena Pacelli logo Angry Drangonz logo Urban Cowboy logo
[separator headline="h2" title="Schedule for the day"] Early Bird Activity: Nature Canada's very own licensed bird bander, Ted Cheskey, will lead a bird banding demonstration at Andrew Haydon Park from 8:30 am-10:00 am Check out what happened at the Bird Day Fair 2014. Stay up to date on the latest Bird Day Fair plans on the facebook event page. Schedule Guided Walks poster ENG [separator headline="h2" title="Plan your trip to the Bird Day Fair"] Map to Andrew Haydon ParkThe Bird Day Fair will be held at Andrew Haydon Park (3169 Carling Avenue, Nepean) which is at the intersection of Carling Ave and Holly Acres Rd. [separator headline="h3" title="Cycle or Walk"] Andrew Haydon Park is along the Ottawa River bike path. Check the cycling map to plan your route. [separator headline="h3" title="Take Public Transit"] OC Transpo is the easy way to get to the event! Take the Bird Day Fair shuttle bus provided by OC Transpo from Bayshore station, a transit hub. The shuttle will depart from transit station 4A (see the highlight space on the map below) and drop you off steps from the Fair. The shuttle is free of charge and will run every 15 min from 10am - 3pm. station 4A map [separator headline="h3" title="Driving"] Please remember that there is limited parking on site. [separator headline="h2" title="Partners"] Nature Canada is proud to partner with the following organizations to host Bird Day 2015
Environment for the Americas logo Ottawa Field Naturalists logo OC Transpo logo
  [separator headline="h2" title="Sponsors"] Thank you to the generous support of our sponsors. Without whom this event would not be possible.
Ottawa Field Naturalists logo Nikon logo Henry's logo Wild Birds Unlimited logo
White Swan logo Richie Feed and Seed logo

VIDEO: Ottawa Bird Day Parade Was in Flight!
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VIDEO: Ottawa Bird Day Parade Was in Flight!

How often do you see many different species of birds flying through the sky together all at once ? Maybe on the day Nature Canada organized the Ottawa Bird Day parade! Around 60 students from the Centennial Public School got creative and made puppets of many different species of birds to bring on their walk along the Ottawa River, along with masks they made to match their winged friends, and started their journey. These energetic birds ranged from a Red-Throated Hummingbird to an American Goldfinch, a Grey Goose and so much more! Once they reached Bate Island, located in the Ottawa river, they stopped for a quick snack of sunflower seeds. Once their "bird feeding" was finished, they grabbed their garbage and recycling bags and started to clean up and help keep the wildlife area clean. When all was clean, the hard-working students hopped on the bus back to school. It was a very fun-filled, educational day.    

”Quick get the binocs! It’s a bird migration!”
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”Quick get the binocs! It’s a bird migration!”

What did you do last Thursday? You were probably sitting at your desk while craving the beautiful sunny weather outside, weren’t you?  I was expecting a typical day at the Nature Canada office, but instead was lucky enough to be recruited to join a Bird Migration Parade! Full parade along Bikepath (2)This wasn’t just any ordinary parade, oh no. This was a procession of birds of every color, shape, and size! These feathered creatures were filled with such excitement and energy; I literally had to run to keep up! Once I had raced to get out my binoculars, I realized they were not actually birds, but students! In honor of International Migratory Bird Day (#BirdDay on Twitter) Nature Canada organized and led about 60 elementary aged students from Centennial Public School on a parade through a portion of the Lac Deschênes – Ottawa River Important Bird Area. Each student was responsible for informing themselves and representing a particular migratory bird in this symbolic procession, which they had accomplished with incredible detail and outstanding creativity. With their beautiful masks and birds created, they were ready to celebrate Bird Day. Birds and kids in parade (2) Once the migrating birds reached their final destination on Bate Island they were rewarded with a quick snack of bird feed (AKA flavoured sunflower seeds). The birds were then encouraged to do a major clean up of Bate Island. Armed with garbage and recycling bags, the students scavenged and picked up several pounds of litter and recyclables from the island, all to enhance this significant wildlife habitat. With the hard work completed, they were then free to relax and enjoy a nice bus ride back to school. All in all a very educational and eye-opening day! A very big “THANK YOU” to all the birds whose energy and excitement made this day such a success. To read more about International Migratory Bird Day, or to get ideas on how to plan your own event please check out this link http://naturecanada.ca/initiatives/bird-day/ .

Canada Celebrates International Migratory Bird Day in Washington D.C.
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Canada Celebrates International Migratory Bird Day in Washington D.C.

[three_fourth]On May 14th, I had the great pleasure of attending the official reception for International Migratory Bird Day, 2013, hosted at the spectacular Canadian Embassy in Washington DC. Susan Bonfield of Environment for the Americas organized the event and was the Master of Ceremonies. The Honourable Gary Doer, Canada’s Ambassador to the United States of America provided some entertaining opening remarks.  Ambassador Doer is by no means a stranger to conservation, having achieved many significant conservation ‘gains’ during his tenure as Premier of Manitoba including setting aside the east side of Lake Winnipeg as a protected area and banning logging in 71 of 73 provincial parks. Dr. Russell Greenberg, Head of the Migratory Bird Centre at the Smithsonian Institute, joined Susan Bonfield to recognize a large number of sponsors and leaders of IMBD both within and outside the government, including Nature Canada.  Nature Canada is the official Canadian partner of IMBD which we call “Welcome Back Birds.” With initial support from the Gosling Foundation, we successfully supported nearly 30 IMBD events across the country attracting thousands of people. In the coming years we plan to grow IMBD into a major national celebration of birds and nature.[/three_fourth][one_fourth_last] [/one_fourth_last]

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