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The Monarch Butterfly Needs Your Help!
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The Monarch Butterfly Needs Your Help!

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The latest research on Monarch Butterflies shows a sharp decline in its numbers since monitoring began nearly 20 years ago. Part of the problem lies in the parallel decline of milkweed – a plant that Monarchs rely on for food and protection. Milkweed, often eradicated through the use of pesticides, is vital to the Monarch’s ability to survive and reproduce. What can you do to help? It’s easier than you think! Plant milkweed in your garden, along your driveway or at the cottage this spring and give the Monarch a much-needed helping hand. Need help getting started? Check out our guide to planting milkweed and get ready to welcome home the Monarch! “Weeds are just a plant out of place” – Ed Lawrence on the CBC’s Ontario Today Listen to Ontario Today’s podcast special on Monarch Butterflies and milkweed gardens.

Important Bird Area Caretaker Receives Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award
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Important Bird Area Caretaker Receives Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award

[two_third]Lori Wilson, Important Bird Area Caretaker for Reed Lake IBA in Saskatchewan, received the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award last month in a ceremony in Regina to recognize the province's remarkable volunteers.Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston presented Lori with the Caring Canadian Award at a special event that formed part of Their Excellencies’ visit to Saskatchewan.Among her many achievements, Lori has cared for and protected Reed Lake Important Bird Area as an Important Bird Area Caretaker. She is an active member of the conservation and naturalist community in Saskatchewan, acting as Director for Nature Saskatchewan. You can find out more about Lori’s work as an IBA Caretaker from our blog series that focuses on the people and places behind the Important Bird Area program in Canada. The Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award recognizes the unsung heroes who volunteer their time to helping others and building a more caring nation.
From everyone here at Nature Canada, we'd like to offer our heartfelt congratulations to Lori!
  [/two_third] [one_third_last]lori wilson caring canadian[/one_third_last]

Banding Chickadees at the Lac Deschênes Naturehood Tour
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Banding Chickadees at the Lac Deschênes Naturehood Tour

[two_third]On a crisp and cool Saturday morning, I joined Ted Cheskey, Nature Canada’s bird conservation manager, and two volunteers from the Outaouais Birding Club on the banks of the Ottawa River to band birds. As part of the Lac Deschênes Naturehood Tour, a multi-stop bird watching tour in Ottawa-Gatineau’s very own Important Bird Area, Ted was leading a bird banding demonstration at the Houle Street Boat Launch on the Gatineau side of the river. Ted had set-up mist nets close to the river’s edge with the hope of catching small songbirds. Within an hour, four Black-capped Chickadees and one American Goldfinch had flown into the nets. The birds were very gently removed from the nets, placed in cloth bags and brought back to the Nature Canada tent where they could be weighed and banded. After a bird has been inspected, it’s released where it was caught. I had the pleasure of releasing a bird under Ted’s guidance. Ted showed me a ‘banders’ grip’, then placed a Black-capped Chickadee in my hand. I slowly uncurled my fingers, opening my palm to the sky. But the little guy wouldn’t let go! It clung on to my index finger, hanging upside down even as I fully extended my fingers outwards. Then in a flash, it was gone. It was a very cool experience! What should you do if you find a banded bird? Bird banders occasionally capture birds banded by another bander. Non-banders can also come across banded birds, but this often happens under unfortunate circumstances. As a non-bander, you’re likely to find a banded bird that has died from striking a window (one of the most common human-causes of death in songbirds), a vehicle, or one that has been killed by a cat. If you find a banded bird, you can report your finding by phone, on the web or via mail. Here are three ways you can submit your findings: Phone :1-800-327-BAND (2263) Web http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/BBL/bblretrv/  Mail: Write down some basic facts, put the band in an envelope, and send it to “AVISE BIRD BAND, WASHINGTON DC, USA.” The most important facts to report are the number on the band – and it is a long one, make sure you report it accurately – the date and location where you found it; the apparent cause of death, if you found a dead bird; your contact information. Don’t worry about trying to identify the bird, as the band contains that information. The banding office will send you a certificate of appreciation in return for your effort, letting you know what type of bird it was, and where and when it was banded.  This information goes into a database that is shared between Canada and the USA and is accessible to the public and scientists. The Lac Deschênes Naturehood Tour was coordinated by Nature Canada, the Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club and the Club des Ornithologues de l’Outaouais. It used the same concept as a studio or winery tour to better acquaint local citizens with the globally significant Lac Deschênes Important Bird Area (IBA) that’s found right in the heart of the National Capital Region. Birding experts from both naturalist clubs and Nature Canada were stationed at each tour stop to help visitors explore the natural wonders of one of this region’s best areas for birding. The event was part of a larger project, My Naturehood, which focuses on celebrating birds, raising public awareness about birds and other wildlife, and protecting significant habitats in Lac Deschênes Important Bird Area. Visitors to the Houle Street Boat Launch site included a junior birder (who was eager to discuss the State of Canada’s Birds with Ted), local nature-enthusiasts, birders from the Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club and the Outaouais Birding Club and a Chinese environmental lawyer who was visiting the city of Ottawa.
Over at Bate Island, another stop on the Lac Deschênes Naturehood Tour, visitors were treated to the sighting of a rare bird for this area – a Cave Swallow. It’s possible that this sighting could be linked to Hurricane Sandy fall-out from the flocks of Cave Swallows that have been noted moving up the Atlantic seaboard in the fall. Perhaps this particular Cave Swallow was pushed inland by Hurricane Sandy. The National Audubon Society's description for the species explains that “Birdwatchers have increasingly noted late fall incursions northward along the Atlantic seacoast as far north as Nova Scotia and inland along Lake Champlain.” We were lucky to spot such a rare sighting! We’d like to extend a big thank-you to the volunteers from both the Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club and the Outaouais Birding Club for supporting the Naturehood Tour and to the funders of My Naturehood. [/two_third] [one_third_last] IMG_2255Ted Cheskey holds a Black-capped Chickadee   IMG_2274Ted holds a Black-capped Chickadee that has just been banded. IMG_2293Close-up of a bird band. IMG_2278I'm ready to release a Black-capped Chickadee IMG_2294Ted explains the banding process to Naturehood Tour participants. cave swallow by nebirdsplus via FlickrCave swallow by nebirdsplus via Flickr [/one_third_last]

Discover your Naturehood
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Discover your Naturehood

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Migrating birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals and numerous freshwater fish – you’ll find them all right in the heart of the National Capital Region at the Lac Deschênes Important Bird Area (IBA). Get to know your local wild neighbours by joining Nature Canada, the Ottawa Field-Naturalists’Club and the Outaouais Birding Club this Saturday, November 3, 2012 for the Lac Deschênes Naturehood Tour. Naturalists from both clubs will be at various sites along the Ottawa River to help you explore the natural riches of one of the region’s best sites for birding. Have you ever wondered how scientists track migrating bird? Ted Cheskey, Nature Canada’s bird conservation manager, will be at Houle Street Boat Launch to show you just how it’s done! The tour is self-guided – start and end points are up to you. At each of the six sites, you’ll find an interpreter ready to help you discover the region’s superb natural heritage. Download a copy of the tour map and find out more about the six sites on the tour here. We’ll be there, rain or shine, from 9am to 1pm. We hope to see you there!

How Are You Celebrating International Migratory Bird Day?
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How Are You Celebrating International Migratory Bird Day?

[two_third]
Earlier this week, staff at Nature Canada set out to explore our own backyard, so to speak. With International Migratory Bird Day coming up this Saturday, the avid birders and beginner birders on staff wanted to welcome the birds back to our shared home. Luckily, the perfect spot to go bird watching is just up the river from our office in downtown Ottawa at Lac Deschênes Important Bird Area (IBA).
Spanning the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, this IBA is not a lake as its name suggests, but an area that covers the shorelines of the Ottawa River from Deschênes Rapides to Innis Point and the river in between. On our visit, we were treated to the sight of Canada geese, Common Tern, Mallard and a rare sighting of a Northern Parula .
We joined a group of well-equipped bird watchers who were gathered around the tree where the Parula was perched. As a novice birder, I thought this was quite a sight. A dozen people fawning over a tiny creature! But in a world where life seems to move at warp speed, the Parula gave us a moment to stop and appreciate the small wonders of nature. It was a beautiful thing.
Millions of people watch birds from their yard every year. The spring and fall are particularly good times to go bird watching. Unusual species can turn up, stopping over to rest and refuel before continuing their journey. This spring marks the 20th anniversary of International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD), an occasion where people across Canada and the U.S. celebrate birds through bird walks, bird banding, festivals and a whole host of activities. Check out our events listing webpage to find out if there’s an IMBD event near you.
If you’re not attending an IMBD event, but still want to welcome home our birds, try following one of our 12 tips to help birds. Small changes in your day-to-day life can make a big difference for our winged friends!
For those who are in Ottawa this month, be sure to join us for a screening of The Big Year, a comedy about birding starring Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson. The movie starts at 7:30pm and will be shown at the University of Ottawa in English with French subtitles on May 16.If you’d like to get out into nature for IMBD, Ted Cheskey, manager of bird conservation for Nature Canada, will be leading a bird walk at Lac Deschênes IBA with the Ottawa Field Naturalists Club (OFNC) on May 12.
The following week, OFNC will be hosting Salvadora Moralez, a bird expert from Nicaragua. Salvadora will be giving a talk about birding and ecotourism in Nicaragua as well as accompanying the OFNC on a walk of Mud Lake conservation area. The birds that spend the summer in Canada, over-winter in warmer countries like Nicaragua.Learn more about the birds we have in common with Nicaragua by joining Salvadora and the OFNC! Contact tcheskey@naturecanada.ca for more details.
[/two_third] [one_third_last] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="320"]Image of bird photographers Bird photographers at Lac Deschenes IBA.[/caption] [/one_third_last]

Trivia Tuesdays: Birds big and small
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Trivia Tuesdays: Birds big and small

Amelia Gaulin Great EgretGreat Egret is one of Canada's tallest birds. But is it the tallest? Photo: Amelia Gaulin

 How well do you know your wildlife?From the biggest to the smallest, the fastest to the slowest, Nature Canada’s Tuesday Trivia will test your knowledge of Canadian species.In the coming weeks, we’ll cover birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and plants. Note that this quiz is about species found in Canada. There could very well be a larger, faster, smaller, or slower species in another part of the world.Today’s theme is birds – big and small.Good luck! 1. Which bird has the biggest wingspan? (a)    White pelican (b)    Whooping crane (c)    Great blue heron (d)    Golden eagle 2. What is our tallest bird? (a)    Great blue heron (b)    Sandhill crane (c)    Whooping crane (d)    Great egret 3. What is our smallest bird? (a)    Ruby-throated hummingbird (b)    Anna’s hummingbird (c)    Rufous hummingbird (d)    Calliope hummingbird

IBA Caretakers: People Protecting Birds Across Canada – Vancouver Island
Photo by Tofino Photography
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IBA Caretakers: People Protecting Birds Across Canada – Vancouver Island

[caption id="attachment_10877" align="alignright" width="288"]Photo of Josie Osborne Photo by Mike Farrow[/caption] Vancouver Island is well-known for its giant conifers, abundant wildlife and rugged coastline. First time visitors are easily blown away by the magnitude of nature – there’s no better place to feel the strength and beauty of the natural world than at the foot of a towering Douglas fir. On the west coast of the island you’ll find another stunning gem – mudflats. Big ones.Tofino Mudflats Important Bird Area covers the largest set of tidal flats on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It’s also where you’ll find Josie Osborne taking young nature enthusiasts on their first birding outing.Josie, a marine biologist and staff member at the Tofino Botanical Gardens, has cared for the Tofino Mudflats IBA for nearly six years. After living with a self-professed ‘bird block’ for many years, Josie found the Important Bird Area Caretaker program to be a natural fit with her educational and interpretative work in her previous position with the Raincoast Education Society. “I like to tell people that birding is like tennis, you learn tennis best when you play with someone just a little better than you,” said Josie, “If you go out with someone who knows their birds just a bit better, you can pretty quickly reach their level. And then you are both learning together.” Once a month in winter, Josie leads a group of people of all ages on to the mudflats where they practice their newly acquired bird identification skills. Expert birders from the area will often come out to help beginner birders learn the ropes. Josie helps coordinate a program, “Learning Better Bird Skills”, which makes birding accessible and brings people together around a love for nature. “The program is as much about birding as it is about bringing people together out in nature on a regular basis,” said Josie, “In a recent survey, we learned that the number one reason people came birding was for the social aspect.” Image of adult with two kids birdingAn ardent advocate for nature, Josie sits on the advisory committee for Tofino Mudflats IBA which meets twice a year to discuss issues affecting the mudflats. As a committee member, she liaises with representatives from government and environmental groups to ensure the IBA is protected and remains a haven for wildlife. For amateur birders hoping to hone their birding skills, Tofino Mudflats Important Bird Area provides no shortage of tidal pools and rocky out-croppings to explore. Covering 32 square kilometers, it includes six mudflats and serves as a critical stop-over site for migrating birds. Locals and tourists are treated to quite a sight when tens of thousands of Western Sandpipers pass through on their biannual migrations. It’s such a spectacular event that organizers of Tofino’s Annual Shorebird Festival have timed the festivities around the spring migration. If you happen to be in Tofino in May, why not stop by and take part in fun, family-friendly activities? Bird watching will be part of the mix, but so will other events, including an art show! Tofino Mudflats IBA is one of nearly six hundred Important Bird Areas in Canada. The Canadian IBA Program is a cornerstone in science-based, site-specific conservation for birds and biodiversity which has been co-delivered by Nature Canada and Bird Studies Canada since 1996. Acting with regional conservation partners, both organizations have built an exhaustive IBA database, finalized almost one hundred site conservation plans and helped communities implement more than 150 local projects. Important Bird Area Caretakers like Josie are caring for over two hundred IBAs across the country, playing a pivotal role in ensuring birds and their habitat are protected. The IBA Caretakers Network was launched in 2006 by BC Nature in British Columbia with financial assistance from Nature Canada's Communities in Action Fund, and is supported by national sponsor TransCanada Corporation. In 2009, TransCanada Corporation committed $1 million over the next five years to support Nature Canada's bird conservation efforts. Are you a member of a naturalist club in your community? If you are actively involved in conserving and protecting natural spaces in your area, joining the IBA Caretaker Network could give you the support and guidance to do more! [button link="http://naturecanada.ca/get-involved/volunteer/" size="medium" target="_blank " icon="leaf" color="blue" lightbox="false"]Become an IBA Caretaker today[/button]

IBA Caretakers: A Social Network
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IBA Caretakers: A Social Network

A.Murray, Boundary Bay
Anne Murray, Boundary Bay-Roberts Bank-Sturgeon Bank IBA
Last week we heard from Gaston Déry, an IBA Caretaker for Iles-aux-pommes IBA, Quebec. In this post, we return to British Columbia to speak with Anne Murray, IBA Caretaker for the Fraser River Estuary: Boundary Bay-Roberts Bank-Sturgeon Bank IBA.After speaking with Anne, I was struck by the similarities between the IBA Caretaker Network and the online social networks that are increasingly a part of our everyday lives. The concept of spreading a message through a social network is quite simple. Engage one person with influence and you inform and engage their entire network of friends.The Important Bird Area Caretakers Network works in much the same way. An IBA Caretaker is someone with ties to the people in their community who care about nature and have an interest in protecting it. Through the Caretaker Network, they connect their community with communities across Canada that care for and protect birds and their habitat. “It’s like any social network in an organization. We can reach more people that way.” said Anne Murray, past president of BC Nature, “Caretakers are the local people at an IBA who can regularly be in contact with regional and national coordinators of the Important Bird Area program. They’re also the people who spread awareness about the IBA in their community.” Canada’s IBA Program is a cornerstone in science-based, site-specific conservation for birds and biodiversity. Co-delivered by Nature Canada and Bird Studies Canada, the program has been in place since 1996. Acting with regional conservation partners, Nature Canada has built an exhaustive IBA database, finalized almost 100 site conservation plans and helped communities implement more than 150 local projects. In 2006, after successfully launching the IBA program in British Columbia with financial assistance from Nature Canada's Communities in Action Fund, BC Nature took the lead in pushing the program even further. Anne Murray, who was on the Board of BC Nature at the time, helped launch the IBA Caretaker Network in British Columbia. “We wanted to ensure that the Important Bird Areas program was sustainable in the long term and one of the ways I could see of doing that was to set up a network of volunteers who knew the sites and were close to the sites,” said Anne, “The idea was that BC Nature and the other partners would provide Caretakers with information, advice and guidelines on how to monitor, promote and protect an IBA – then we’d let them run with it.” Nearly six years later, there are close to 200 IBA Caretakers across Canada. This year, with the addition of Caretakers in Ontario and Quebec, there are now Caretakers in every province in Canada. The network’s expansion has been possible with the support of the IBA Caretaker Network’s national sponsor, TransCanada Corporation, who in 2009 committed $1 million over five years.
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Anne (third from right) goes birding with the Casual Birding group of the Delta Naturalists Society. Photo: Delta Naturalists Society
Over the years, the network’s success in effectively protecting birds and their habitat comes from the collective efforts of Caretakers across the country. “People already involved in their site are given help and capacity to do more. That’s what’s been really good about the program,” said Anne, “The regional and national partners of the IBA program provide support, organize meetings with government and get other people involved – that really helps to build the capacity of the program. Being a part of that is very valuable. You’re much more effective when you are part of something bigger than if you’re on your own.” For Anne, joining the Caretaker Network was a natural next step in her conservation work – she was already actively advocating for the protection of the Fraser River Estuary when the network launched.  As one of the Caretakers for Boundary Bay-Roberts Bank-Sturgeon Bank Important Bird Area, Anne is involved in everything from conducting bird surveys to giving public presentations on IBAs. Her public outreach includes publishing books on the ecology of the Lower Mainland and writing columns on timely conservation issues affecting the Fraser River Estuary in the Georgia Straight, a widely circulated local paper. Not surprisingly, the proximity of the Boundary Bay-Roberts Bank-Sturgeon Bank IBA to the city of Vancouver presents a unique set of conservation issues. Urban and industrial expansion and recreational pressures threaten to degrade the ecosystems that are arguably one of the most important habitats for migrating and wintering waterbirds in Canada. Western Sandpiper, Black-bellied Plover, Dunlin, Northern Pintail, and many other species of bird and fish need the mudflats and intertidal marshes of the IBA to survive. IBA Caretakers like Anne have brought greater awareness of the challenges facing urban Important Bird Areas and the unique value they hold for wildlife.
dunlins Brunswich point & Reifel DNCB
Dunlin in flight at Reifel, part of the Boundary Bay IBA. Photo: Delta Naturalists Society
“In the past 20 years, public awareness of the environmental value of Important Bird Areas like Boundary Bay-Roberts Bank-Sturgeon Bank IBA, has slowly increased,” said Anne, “That’s due to the many caring people who advocate for their protection. I hope that my work as an IBA Caretaker helps to contribute to that awareness.” Are you a member of a naturalist club in your community? If you are actively involved in conserving and protecting natural spaces in your area, joining the IBA Caretaker Network could give you the support and guidance to do more! You can find out more about becoming a Caretaker and explore Important Bird Areas in Canada at ibacanada.ca Next week, we’ll hear from Josie Osborne, Caretaker for Tofino Mudflats IBA on Vancouver Island. Stay tuned!

IBA Caretakers: Protecting Birds Across Canada – Quebec
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IBA Caretakers: Protecting Birds Across Canada – Quebec

Gaston Déry
Gaston Déry at Ile-aux-Pommes IBA
As an Important Bird Area Caretaker for Île-aux-Pommes IBA, Gaston Déry has been an integral part of transforming what was once a haven for seagulls into an island that supports thriving populations of migratory birds, ducks and other wildlife. Over the past thirty years, Gaston has worked to restore the island’s bird habitat, turning it into a “paradise for birds”. Over 30 bird species use the island to breed and to refuel on their bi-annual migrations. The island has become such a dependable source of food for migrating birds that Gaston likens it to a tried-and-tested roadside diner along a bird superhighway. “Imagine you’re on a road trip with your family and you know there’s a restaurant where you can stop and eat. That restaurant is safe, it’s not that expensive and you know that you can always depend on it being there. That’s what Île-aux-Pommes IBA is to migrating birds,” said Gaston, as he described how the island serves the needs of thousands of migrating birds every year. Île-aux-Pommes lies 6 kilometres off the south shore of the St. Lawrence estuary, near the town of L’Isle-Verte Québec and 25 km east of Rivière-du-Loup. Surrounded by five islets, the island is just under two kilometers long and 200 metres wide. But for such as small island it does more than its fair share to support nesting and migrating birds. The second largest breeding population of Common Eider ducks nests on the island every year, with nearly 2,300 breeding pairs recorded last year. Herring Gull and Great Black-backed Gull populations also nest in large numbers on the island. Other birds found on the island include American Black Duck, Common Loon, Double-crested Cormorant, Razorbill, Black Guillemot, Brant, Snow Goose, Canada Goose, Plovers, Sandpipers, many species of sparrow such as Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Slate-coloured Junco , American Crow and many species of Hawks and Owls.
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Eider duck in flight at Île-aux-Pommes IBA
For Gaston, becoming a Caretaker of Île-aux-Pommes IBA was a natural next step in his commitment to protecting the birds that depend on the island. He’s been an IBA Caretaker for nearly four years, but in many ways, he has been a guardian of the island for most of his adult life. Île-aux-Pommes has been in the Déry family since 1927. Ownership was passed down from one generation to the next, and in 1980, the land came into Gaston’s possession. In the intervening years, the island had become a hotbed for research, drawing government scientists and university students to the island to study birds. But the number of ducks coming to island had declined, and a colony of 20,000 seagulls had taken up residence. A lot needed to be done to restore the island so that ducks and other wildlife that had historically nested on Île-aux-Pommes would return in greater numbers. So when Gaston took ownership of Île-aux-Pommes, he was determined to turn things around. Carrying on the tradition of conserving nature instilled in him by his grandfather from a young age, he decided to lay the ground work for a management plan that would ensure the island would be a haven for birds forever. With the help of Ducks Unlimited, Gaston slowly rehabilitated the island by planting conifers and shrubs that are essential nesting habitat for Eider ducks. What was once a barren island and home of a seagull colony, was transformed to the point where thousands of ducks returned to the island, ushering in a new era of vibrant bird life.
Murray's flock of eiders
A flock of Eider ducks at Ile-aux-Pommes
“IBA Caretakers are part of an important network of people who are not only protecting birds, but protecting the planet. It’s important for our society to give back to nature,” said Gaston. As an IBA Caretaker, Gaston is the ears, eyes and hands on the ground at Île-aux-Pommes IBA. He visits the island most weekends and holidays, monitoring birds, assessing habitats, and conducting other conservation activities. He’s part of a network of over 200 volunteers who watch over and protect Important Bird Areas across Canada. First launched by BC Nature with the assistance of a Nature Canada Communities in Action Fund, the Caretaker network now spans nine provinces.  Nature Canada and Bird Studies Canada are the national co-partners in delivering the Important Bird Areas program and coordinating the IBA Caretakers Network in Canada. When Gaston’s not at the IBA, he’s bringing his passion for birds and nature conservation to elementary schools in Quebec. By speaking to children about IBAs and the value of protecting nature, he hopes to inspire young minds to embrace a nature ethic in their everyday lives. “I love inspiring the next generation to become advocates for nature. It’s a powerful experience for me, and I hope, for them too,” said Gaston. “Just a few months ago, the mother of one of the children who saw my presentation called me to say how her daughter came home talking about the importance of loving and protecting nature. It’s moments like these that keep me going!” said Gaston. As the national sponsor of the Important Bird Area Caretaker Network, TransCanada Corporation committed $1 million in 2009 to support bird conservation efforts in Canada over the following five years.

IBA Caretakers: People Protecting Birds Across Canada – Alberta
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IBA Caretakers: People Protecting Birds Across Canada – Alberta

In our last post, we heard from Important Bird Area Caretakers in British Columbia. In this post we follow Ted, Nature Canada's manager of bird conservation, to Alberta where he speaks with two Caretakers about the value of the IBA Caretaker Network.For Judy Boyd, caring for Bearhills Important Bird Area was a good fit with her volunteer work with a young naturalist club in Red Deer, Alberta. Part of what she does as a Caretaker is monitor birds at the IBA – and counting birds is something young naturalists are more than ready to help out with!
In this video Greg Wagner, IBA Caretaker for Frank Lake Important Bird Area, talks about the special features of this IBA, which lies just 50km south of Calgary, Alberta. Greg also explains why he thinks IBA Caretakers can effectively promote bird conservation by talking to local stakeholders.
As IBA Caretakers, Greg and Judy channel their passion for nature and protecting birds by monitoring  birds, assessing habitats, and conducting conservation activities at Important Bird Areas. They are part of a larger network of volunteers that participate in the IBA Caretakers program. Their work promotes effective bird conservation in Canada. Do you want to protect your local birds and habitat? Consider becoming an Important Bird Area Caretaker! You can find out more about becoming a Caretaker and explore Important Bird Areas in Canada at ibacanada.ca Next week, we’ll hear from a Caretaker in Manitoba who has been a passionate birder from a young age. Stay tuned!

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