President & Chief Executive Officer
Protecting the beauty and diversity of life on Earth – that’s the mission that has underpinned my entire adult life thus far, and it’s what fuels my enthusiasm for the role of President at Birds Canada. A biologist by training, I have a boundless fascination with animal behaviour (including migrations of course), and have had the great privilege of leading environmental non-profits for over a decade. Not a day goes by where I’m not reminded that North America has lost one in four birds since 1970 – three billion birds. My pledge to you is to work tirelessly to stop that catastrophe in its tracks.
Vice-President, Public Support
519-586-3531 ext. 113
I grew up exploring the shores of Lake Huron on the beautiful Bruce Peninsula in Ontario. My experience in the charitable sector began 20 years ago while coordinating school-based wildlife education programs in South Florida. During this time, I was grateful to work with hundreds of different wildlife species and with thousands of youth. Later, while working as a director at a wildlife hospital, I discovered I could help our environment the most by helping to raise much-needed funding. I joined Birds Canada in 2012 and everyday I am inspired by our dedicated supporters and my expert colleagues. I now also have the great joy of introducing my son to the birds we see and hear around us.
Silke Nebel, PH.D.
Vice-President, Conservation and Science
I oversee Birds Canada’s bird monitoring and conservation programs across the country. Prior to joining Birds Canada in 2018, I ran a science communication business and worked as a research grant writer at Western University. Before moving to London, Ontario, I worked out of research institutes in Canada, Panama, the Netherlands, and Australia. I hold a Ph.D. in Biology and have published over 30 peer-reviewed papers on my research, mainly on ecology of migratory birds. I have been involved with the Canadian Science Policy Conference since 2015, and have served on the Advisory Board of the London Institute for Public Policy and as the Chair of the Middlesex-London Food Policy Council.
PROGRAM DIRECTORS (MANAGEMENT TEAM)
Director, Community Engagement
519-586-3531 ext. 197
Jody is an avid birder and naturalist who enjoys sharing his enthusiasm for the natural world. He is the Director of Citizen Science and Community Engagement at Birds Canada where he is the co-editor of BirdWatch Canada Magazine and the Coordinator of eBird Canada. Jody delivers various science-focused education and outreach programs to audiences across Canada. He has banded Northern Saw-whet Owls on CBC’s Rick Mercer Report, spoken about Canada Jays at Ideacity, has appeared on the American Birding Association podcast and has written numerous articles on birds, birding and connecting with nature. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram at @JodyAllair.
Director of Human Resources
I am from Southern Ontario and am lucky to have grown up in a family that has always been interested in and appreciative of wild birds and their habitats, having made many trips to the Long Point area and the Long Point Bird Observatory in all seasons over the years. As a nature lover, one of my greatest joys is seeing wild things interacting with their natural environment and each other. I joined Birds Canada in 2022 and am passionate about supporting the people who are working tirelessly to preserve birds and their habitats.
519-586-3531 ext. 152
I am a wildlife biologist and conservation professional with over 25 years of experience in the environmental field. I’ve worked on conservation, wildlife research, and educational programs throughout my career, and written publications on a diversity of topics – from birds and reptiles to native plants and watershed ecology. I have directed projects for Ontario Nature, Long Point Basin Land Trust, and the Québec-Labrador Foundation, and have served in a number of senior roles at Birds Canada.
David Bradley, PH.D.
Director, British Columbia
I’ve been interested in birds and their conservation for as long as I can remember. Prior to my current role, I completed a postdoc at our Birds Canada head office in Ontario and the University of Guelph on migration and breeding phenology in Tree Swallows. My Ph.D. was conducted in New Zealand on the ecology and conservation of an endangered endemic bird, the North Island Kokako. I’ve also been involved in behavioral studies of Neotropical birds in Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia. Two of my current projects include an invasive mammalian predator study in Haida Gwaii (one of my favourite natural environments) and a Long-billed Curlew migration tracking study in the Kootenay Mountains.
I’m a biologist with a wide range of experience working with birds. Born in England, I have lived in Québec since 1996. Before taking up my current position, I worked for 10 years as a research officer at Laval University. Before that, in England, I worked for the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and the Zoological Society of London. I am also a member of the Québec Breeding Bird Atlas Management Committee and the Scientific Committee of the Observatoire d’oiseaux de Tadoussac, and secretary of the Baillie Fund.
Andrew Couturier, FRCGS
Senior Director, Landscape Science and Conservation
519-586-3531 ext. 131
I’m proud to have pioneered work on mapping the distribution, abundance, and migratory connections of birds that is featured regularly in scientific papers, books, popular publications, websites, and field guides. My achievements in bird conservation include election to the College of Fellows of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society. I represent Birds Canada on numerous regional, national, and international conservation initiatives, including Bird Atlases, North American Bird Conservation Initiative, BirdLife International, Partners in Flight, Key Biodiversity Areas, and others. It has been rewarding to see my two decades of leadership at Birds Canada help propel the organization from a locally focused one to a respected national and international partner. I find inspiration in nature, birds, and music, and in sharing these passions with family, friends, and strangers alike.
519-586-3531 ext. 174
While I’ve worked in fundraising, supporting various organizations and causes for several years, I’ve always had the greatest passion for birds, wildlife and the environment. I was raised to have a deep respect and love for the natural world. I’m an avid camper, hiker, paddler and general lover of the outdoors. My fondest memories are bird outings with my parents and grandparents. I’m thrilled to contribute to the invaluable work done by Birds Canada in conserving wild birds of Canada so that future generations can experience the joy of birding.
Senior Director of Conservation Strategy
A lifelong birder and passionate conservationist, I bring a global perspective to the Birds Canada local-to-hemispheric conservation science program. I’m something of a long-distance migrant – originally from the UK, I arrived in Canada via a decade in Asia. I’m now a Metro Vancouver homeowner and permanent resident, although currently based remotely in East Africa for much of the year. Prior to my current role, I served as the BC Program Manager for Birds Canada.
Kiel Drake, PH.D.
Director, Prairie Region
I draw inspiration and rejuvenation from interacting with the natural world – the wilder and more remote, the stronger the inspiration. I have broad interests in avian monitoring and conservation, which includes experience with estimation of demographic parameters, conservation planning, species-habitat modeling, and bioacoustics monitoring. I was awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Saskatchewan where my studies examined the role of dispersal in population dynamics of breeding Ross’s Geese. For over 20 years, my professional experience has lain primarily in the realm of water-loving birds. I was drawn to the conservation profession seeing a need to protect wildlife and the places where wild critters live.
519-586-3531 ext. 111
I always enjoyed seeing Barn Swallows, Goldfinches and Red-winged Blackbirds on the farm where I grew up. My hope is to help Birds Canada keep common birds common by engaging more people in the work of conserving wild birds of Canada. I joined the Birds Canada team in 2018 and am thoroughly enjoying working with this group of smart, passionate, and dedicated people. My background is in agriculture and horticulture, and I hold undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Guelph. I’ve worked in provincial government, not-for-profit, and charitable organizations.
Director, Ontario Programs
I have always been passionate about the environment and feel like my true self when immersed in nature – whether it be hiking, canoeing, scuba diving, or birding. After an early career switch from the humanitarian research sector, I spent several years coordinating biological monitoring projects focused on endangered species in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and back home in Ontario. In addition to hands-on work with birds, turtles, snakes, manatees, and benthic invertebrates, I have also been active in local communities to study the many complex human-environment relationships that promote or deter positive conservation action. I absolutely love birding and continue to learn more about local and migratory species as a volunteer at a local bird banding project.
Denis Lepage, PH.D.
Senior Director, Data Science and Technology
519-586-3531 ext. 155
Director of Strategic Assets
519-586-3531 ext. 162
I began exploring the natural world while in the womb, and have been birding since the age of two. In my current role, I’m responsible for the Motus Wildlife Tracking System, Long Point Bird Observatory, Thunder Cape Bird Observatory, and aspects of the Canadian Migration Monitoring Network. I hold degrees from the University of Guelph and Western University. Formerly, I served as President of the Ontario Bird Banding Association and Chair of the North American Banding Council. I live in Port Rowan with my wife and two children.
Doug Tozer, PH.D.
Director, Waterbirds and Wetlands
519-586-3531 ext. 168
I’ve been hooked on birds ever since I can remember. For example, as a kid I got (a bit) annoyed when my family went on holidays to Disney World, because it meant I missed Canada Jay nest-finding with my Dad for a research project in Algonquin Park. Naturally, my academic and professional career has focused on developing workable conservation solutions for birds, and raising awareness of the importance of these animals. Currently, I work on waterbirds and wetlands by directing the Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program, Canadian Lakes Loon Survey, and Long Point Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Program.
SPECIES OF HIGHEST CONCERN
REVERSING THE PRECIPITOUS DECLINES OF IMPERILLED SPECIES AND BIRD GROUPS MOST AT RISK
Ontario Projects Biologist
519-586-3531 ext. 165
The nature of my discipline has made me very aware of the interesting challenges that come with balancing human needs with natural resource protection. By studying birds, and protecting them now and for the future, we have a great way to ensure the protection of other species, including ourselves. Birds can allow us to rectify the disconnect between scientists and the general public. As people from all walks of life can connect over bird watching, birds can provide an avenue where we can have those difficult conversations about conservation that need to be had. This is particularly true in my work in Ontario with aerial insectivores, the Breeding Bird Survey, and the Breeding Bird Atlas.
Chimney Swift Chimney Restoration Fund Coordinator
I first developed a passion for birds after being introduced to birdwatching at a nature summer camp as a teenager. I pursued undergraduate studies in biology and then studied the habitat preferences of Bicknell’s Thrush in southern Quebec as part of my Master’s degree at McGill University. During the next 20 years or so, I held various positions in the field of bird ecology and conservation with organizations such as the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Canadian Wildlife Service. These positions involved, among other things, conducting field studies, developing conservation plans, and work on species at risk recovery. I joined the Birds Canada team in 2022 as the coordinator of the Chimney Swift Chimney Restoration Fund. I am thrilled to be part of a team of people who share a passion for birds and who contribute to their appreciation and conservation in Canada.
Grassland Conservation Manager
I grew up on a mixed farm in western Manitoba where I spent many hours in our pastures exploring nature and being captivated by the birds, bugs and mammals that we shared our land with. I’ve always been fascinated by the natural world and our place in it. That interest drove me to continue to learn about agriculture, obtaining my Bachelor’s of Science in Agriculture at the University of Manitoba. Agriculture has such an important role to play in the biodiversity and climate crises we find ourselves in and I am passionate about finding solutions that are mutually beneficial for wildlife, the environment, farmers and ranchers, and society at large. As the Grassland Conservation Manager for Birds Canada I get to work at the interface of agriculture and conservation to find solutions to conserve grassland ecosystems and the birds that make their home there.
Ian R. Fife
Forest Birds at Risk Coordinator
519-586-3531 ext. 166
I gain inspiration through envisioning recovery success for species at risk achieved through relationships between research conducted through the Forest Birds at Risk program and landowners and managers. I am responsible for monitoring and assessing populations of priority bird species in the province and work towards building strong steward relationships with land-owners and managers to protect priority species habitat. I also find inspiration for bird and habitat conservation in solving problems associated with a species decline. I am especially fond of birds ever since I held my first Canvasback many years ago. As an ecologist, I believe habitat is the most important element to ensuring we prevent population declines for birds and other wildlife.
Ontario Piping Plover Program Coordinator
519-586-3531 ext. 128
At my heart, I’m a plover myself, gravitating to beaches and sunshine even in my time off. After university, I landed an internship in South Africa researching and protecting the White-Fronted Plover. I was hooked. Upon returning to my home province of Saskatchewan, I found summer work with Piping Plovers along the shores of Lake Diefenbaker, and now I coordinate the Ontario Piping Plover Conservation Program. Additionally, I am thrilled to host The Warblers, an award winning podcast, for Birds Canada, where I work with a fantastic team to bring stories of birds and bird conservation to listeners across the country.
Aerial Insectivore Outreach and Data Specialist
J'ai grandi dans une région rurale de la Nouvelle-Écosse et j'ai passé beaucoup de temps à l'extérieur, à la recherche de toutes sortes de bestioles et à jouer dans les bois. Aujourd'hui encore, je prolonge régulièrement mes randonnées en m'attardant pour observer les plantes, les champignons et, bien sûr, les oiseaux! Pendant mes études de premier cycle et de maîtrise à l'Université Acadia, j'ai eu l'occasion de travailler avec des oiseaux de rivage, des insectivores aériens et mon espèce d’oiseau de mer préférée, l'Océanite cul-blanc. Pour ma maîtrise, j'ai étudié la prédation dans les colonies de cette espèce, ce qui a renforcé mon désir de travailler dans le domaine de la conservation et mon amour pour l’échange de connaissances avec les autres. Mon poste à Oiseaux Canada me permet de faire les deux avec une équipe de personnes passionnées et inspirantes. Voir les débuts d'un intérêt pour les oiseaux et la conservation chez quelqu'un, ou entendre parler des efforts qu'un bénévole ou un propriétaire foncier déploie pour assurer l'intendance d'une espèce sont les aspects les plus intéressants et les plus stimulants de mon travail!
Grassland Program Biologist
I have had an interest in the natural world for longer than I can remember, and I was still quite young when this interest rather abruptly transformed into a focus, and passion for birds. As a teen, I gained the opportunity to be a part of the Young Ornithologist Workshop led by Long Point Bird Observatory, and subsequently spent a season volunteering at the observatory. In 2015, I was granted my first official position with Birds Canada as a field technician conducting field work targeting forest birds at risk in Southern Ontario. I loved the work, and the birds I was working with, and continued working with those wonderful forest birds almost annually until 2022, when I accepted a new position for Birds Canada in Saskatchewan. Now working as the Grassland Program Biologist, I have the opportunity to work with some of Canada’s most vulnerable, and charismatic bird species. I am eager to do my part in assisting protect Canada’s birds, habitats, and its biodiversity.
BC Species at Risk Biologist
Allison MacKay, PHD
Currently unavailable (on leave)
I believe that true change starts with the community, and that given the information and resources, small communities can achieve big conservation outcomes. I studied effects of intensive forestry on Three-toed Woodpeckers, Brown Creeper, and other dead-wood dependent birds. After earning a PhD in ecology from the University of Sherbrooke, QC, where I studied reproductive phenology in eastern grey kangaroos in Australia, I returned home to New Brunswick and to birds. An animal ecologist by study, I have focused my career on conservation planning, gaining training and experience in applying the Open Standards for Conservation Planning through community and science-driven knowledge. I hope to help Birds Canada and partners better connect to communities to find the best conservation solutions for people and for birds.
New Brunswick Piping Plover Coordinator
As a fourth generation lobster fisher I grew up on the seashore and lived from the sea. This gave me a great respect for all that lives in coastal areas. After making a choice to pursue environmental studies I got my first summer job working to protect the endangered Piping Plovers that nest on the beaches of my home province of New Brunswick. I was hooked. From the time I started working with Piping Plovers in 1995 I’ve had the privilege of helping to protect the coastal habitats that I hold so dear. And the birds whose survival depends on coastal habitats have inspired the way I communicate this passion to the people that share my attraction to these remarkable places. It’s been a dream come true to spend so much time on beaches, dunes and in marshes. Getting to know the birds that live there and sharing this passion with the thousands that would join our guided walks and special presentations throughout the years has given me a sense of accomplishment that can’t be measured.
Acting Conservation Planner
Growing up in coastal British Columbia, my fascination with the natural world was encouraged by my parents and teachers from a young age. When I landed a summer job studying seabirds on the East Coast during university, I discovered a career that fulfills my passion for conservation and love of learning. As the Aerial Insectivore Conservation Program Coordinator in the Atlantic Region, I work with a dedicated team of citizen scientists, landowners and partner organizations to improve monitoring and stewardship of swifts and swallows. Now a parent myself, I’m motivated by my children’s boundless curiosity and eagerness to explore our environment. The creativity and passion of volunteers and colleagues inspire me to seek innovative partnerships and strategies to support the conservation of swifts and swallows in Canada.
Nova Scotia Shorebird Engagement and Outreach Coordinator
Being from Cape Breton Island, I grew up surrounded by nature. Still, my interest in birds only began during my undergraduate degree, when I worked as the Coastal Stewardship Biologist for Birds Canada’s Piping Plover Conservation Program in Nova Scotia. This interest quickly became a passion. It led me to pursue a Master’s degree at the University Centre of the Westfjords in Iceland, where I am studying how conservation social science helps birdlife and biodiversity around the country. I am fascinated by understanding human motivations, perceptions, and behaviours as they relate to bird conservation worldwide. My position as the Nova Scotia Assistant Program Coordinator allows me to pursue my passions while finding new and innovative ways to connect people and birds.
Bank Swallow Conservation Coordinator
My passion for the natural world began in high school when I took an environmental studies class. That class led me to complete an environmental studies degree, where my interest in birds began as I created a study comparing passerine diversity among three coastal habitats. This study was the first time I was able to identify new bird species by call, and I was hooked. I have studied forest species at risk in Ontario, including Louisiana Waterthrush, foraging behaviour of aerial insectivores in wetlands, and assisted with a captive breeding program for Loggerhead Shrikes. Now, I coordinate the Atlantic Canada Bank Swallow working group, a group of stakeholders working together to help conserve Bank Swallow populations. I coordinate meetings, data collection, database development and manage and train volunteers.
Ontario Piping Plover Program Technician
My love of nature started by listening to the dawn chorus as the nylon tent heated up, followed by an afternoon sitting in the first row of an interpretive nature program. I firmly believe that by bridging science with outreach and education, we can foster communities of stewards and tackle environmental goals together. I am grateful to work with Birds Canada on the Ontario Piping Plover program and see the synergy between scientific research and community action every day.
Aerial Insectivore Conservation Program Coordinator
My passion for nature, conservation, and birds began while growing up in rural Vermont. During my undergraduate studies, I had the opportunity to study Leach’s Storm-Petrels on Kent Island, NB and became hooked on bird research/work. Over the course of field technician jobs on Canada Jays, Common Loons, Savannah Sparrows, Island Scrub-Jays (to name a few), followed by a Master’s degree on Thick-billed Murres at the University of Windsor, I became increasingly passionate about birding as a hobby. I am now always birding and contributing sightings with eBird and other Citizen Science portals. I started with Birds Canada in 2018 and worked for three years in BC coordinating Citizen Science programs, running outreach events, and contributing to and leading research projects. I am now located in New Brunswick where I am the Aerial Insectivore Conservation Program Coordinator for the Atlantic region and contact for the Maritimes Marsh Monitoring Program and Project NestWatch. I really enjoy working with Birds Canada where I can share my enthusiasm for birds and conservation with amazing volunteers, partners, and staff.
ASSESSING THE STATE OF CANADA’S BIRDS
SECTOR-LEADING SCIENCE AND LARGE-SCALE POPULATION MONITORING TO INFORM THE CONSERVATION OF ALL BIRD GROUPS
Field Manager, High Elevation Landbird Program
I was already in my 20s when I first fell in love with birds, and after learning their songs during a university work term I was shocked and delighted at how much the world opened up around me; a walk in nature truly is never the same again. I have always been passionate about conservation, and I find a particular satisfaction in knowing that my work at Birds Canada has a tangible effect on both birds and the rest of the creatures with which they share their habitats. While my main role is to lead the field season looking for the enigmatic Bicknell's Thrush, I have the pleasure of working in various capacities for almost all of the the Atlantic programs including Motus, Marsh Monitoring, the Nocturnal Owl Survey, and the Newfoundland Breeding Bird Atlas.
Data Entry Technician
519-586-3531 ext. 133
Being a naturalist I enjoy hiking in any of our great Canadian seasons. I have worked in my current position at Birds Canada for over a decade. During this time have had the fortuity to observe the advancement and betterment of Birds Canada and to have worked on numerous projects across the country. I am very proud to be a part of this wonderful organization engaged in the guardianship of wild birds and their habitats.
Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas - 3 Assistant Coordinator
I have always been drawn to the outdoors. However, my introduction to avian research was as a wildlife technician studying aerial insectivores during the summers of my undergraduate studies. This led me to pursue a Master of Science in Biology at Western University studying niche segregation among sympatric Barn, Cliff, and Tree swallows. As the Aerial Insectivore Program Coordinator, I work with different groups to coordinate monitoring, research, stewardship, and outreach for aerial insectivores in Ontario. I am also working as the Assistant Coordinator for the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas. The Atlas is a collaborative project that aims to map the relative abundance and distribution of the birds that breed in Ontario – data that inform science, conservation, and policy. I feel extremely fortunate to work alongside the dedicated volunteers, collaborators, and Birds Canada staff towards our shared goal of bird conservation.
Catherine Dale, PH.D.
Newfoundland Atlas Coordinator
My job brings together two of the things I’m most passionate about – ornithology and science outreach. I believe strongly in the importance of Citizen Science, and I’m eagerly anticipating working with volunteers across Newfoundland to make the province’s first breeding bird atlas happen. I recently completed a Ph.D. studying migration patterns in Western Bluebirds breeding in British Columbia, and am now enjoying learning all about the birds of Newfoundland!
Danielle Ethier, PH.D.
Bird Population Scientist
519-586-3531 ext. 115
My role with Birds Canada is to unravel patterns and processes driving avian population dynamics using citizen-science dataset collected by bird enthusiasts from across Canada. It is a privilege to mobilize these hard-earned datasets to help resolve key conservation challenges facing avian populations.
519-586-3531 ext. 125
While I like software development, I especially enjoy being able to pursue it in a relatively untouched natural area instead of a downtown city core. I’m a software developer currently devoting my time to the Motus Wildlife Tracking System, a collaborative research network that is improving our knowledge of the movements of birds and other animals. My parents were involved in founding Long Point Bird Observatory, which later spawned Birds Canada, so I have a long history with the organization.
Associate Director, Data Science and Technology
Data form the foundation of science, and I see maximizing the availability, interpretation, and communication of data as foundational to achieving conservation outcomes. My works with Birds Canada focuses on supporting hundreds of research and monitoring projects investigating the ecology, distribution and population dynamics of all bird species through two main platforms; NatureCounts (naturecounts.ca) and the Motus Wildlife Tracking System (motus.org).
Volunteer Manager and Biologist, Ontario Programs, Canadian Lakes Loon Survey & Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program
519-586-3531 ext. 124
I am an avid supporter of conservation, habitat stewardship, and biodiversity, in the strength of grassroots community actions, and that each individual can make a difference. I spent my childhood in Long Point, Ontario next to the Big Creek National Wildlife Area. There I formed a great love for boating, wetlands, wildlife, and all things aquatic. I hold an H.B.Sc. in Wildlife Ecology and Environmental Studies from the University of Guelph, a M.Sc.F in Wildlife Management from Lakehead University and Volunteer Management accreditation from Humber College. Past work in tourism, retail, raptor and duck research and data management as well as experience collaborating with Citizen Scientists has led me to my present job. My three beautiful and almost adult children have taught me that yes, your beliefs can be instilled in the next generation and that this is hope for our future.
Amy-Lee Kouwenberg, PH.D.
Associate Atlantic Director + HELP/NOS Program Coordinator
519-586-3531 ext. 196
I coordinate the High Elevation Landbird Program, monitoring Bicknell’s Thrush and other birds in remote forests of northern New Brunswick and the Cape Breton Highlands. I work with forestry managers and regulators to protect habitat in the industrial forest. I also coordinate the Atlantic Nocturnal Owl Survey, a tremendous Citizen Scientist-based effort to census owls in the Atlantic provinces. My interest in birds started on my family’s farm in Nova Scotia particularly raising and showing chickens as a member of my local 4-H club. My interest expanded to wild birds when my I befriended a family of bird watchers during my undergrad in Ontario, eventually leading to my Ph.D. studying the awe-inspiring seabirds of Newfoundland and British Columbia. The remarkable physical abilities and incredible variation among birds, paired with the passion and perseverance of people who work to conserve them, is what inspires my efforts for birds.
Saskatchewan Atlas Coordinator
I have always been drawn to nature; whether I was collecting beetles in my lunch kit or spending hours looking for snakes, nature was a big part of my childhood. After completing a diploma in Environmental and Wildlife Management I began working on avian monitoring projects and was immediately hooked. I went on to complete a BSc in Environmental Biology from McGill University where I received the Tomlinson engagement award for mentoring. I enjoy interacting with people and sharing my love of nature, a trait which serves me well in my current role. This work allows me to help others learn about birds while also affording me time alone in nature, both of which keep me inspired. I do what I do in the hopes that I can motivate others to help protect wildlife and the habitats they depend on.
Newfoundland Atlas Assistant Coordinator
I spent much of my childhood out in nature; camping, hiking, and exploring, which sparked my belief in the need for conservation of our natural world. It wasn’t until a volunteer opportunity working with Wood Thrush in Ontario after completing my Bachelor degree in Wildlife Biology that my eyes (and ears!) were opened to the world of birds. Having completed a Masters degree studying Gray-cheeked Thrush distribution in Newfoundland, I am keen to keep exploring the remoteness and resilience of the birds there. My position with Birds Canada gives me that opportunity, as well as a greater opportunity to share this wonderful avian world with our amazing host of volunteers!
Rémi Torrenta, PH.D.
BC Projects Coordinator
After 8 years of work experience with forest birds in eastern Canada – including coordinating the Atlantic Nocturnal Owl Survey and the High Elevation Landbird Program –, I am now thrilled to dedicate my energy to monitoring, research and conservation projects related to western birds. Since I was very young, my passion for wildlife and birds has never faded. Before joining Birds Canada, I obtained my MSc in Ecology in the south of France, and then a PhD at Université de Moncton, NB. I have always been fascinated by the great enthusiasm for birds of Canadian volunteers, and by their considerable investment in collecting important data for science and conservation! This motivates me even more to run and deliver our Citizen Science programs, as well as various education and research projects in BC, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories.
IMPORTANT PLACES FOR BIRDS
NATURE- BASED SOLUTIONS TO PROTECT THE HAVENS OF BIRDS AND BIODIVERSITY
Key Biodiversity Areas Coordinator
519-586-3531 ext. 167
My role is coordinating the Key Biodiversity Areas Program for Birds Canada. I get to work with partners, experts, government, Indigenous peoples, and more on transitioning our Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas to KBAs. I am lucky to work with enthusiastic, dedicated people to identify the most important places for biodiversity in Canada. Identifying these amazing places is the first step to meaningful conservation. I have a background in Environmental Studies and Biology, and have worked with birds, bats, soil, and water. Connecting with nature is what motivates me to work in conservation. I hope to give the next generation the same (or better) opportunity to experience the beauty of nature I’ve enjoyed my whole life.
Fraser Estuary Specialist
On behalf of Birds Canada, I’m building support for the Fraser Estuary Important Bird and Biodiversity Area in British Columbia. Prior to joining Birds Canada, I earned a Master’s degree in International Environmental Policy at the University of Northern British Columbia and worked with WWF-Canada on topics ranging from eelgrass and marine planning to hydropower and the Water Sustainability Act. This experience established a base of knowledge that I’m now applying to the context of the Fraser Estuary.
GIS Spatial Analyst
519-586-3531 ext. 171
I first fell in love with birds during my undergraduate degree in Ecology and Environmental Biology in the beautiful grassland interior of British Columbia. Since then my career has taken me across to country to study Chimney Swift Roost abundance in northern Ontario, Barn Swallow post-fledging ecology in southern Ontario for my Masters degree, and boreal landbird distribution and abundance in the Northwest Territories. During this time, I have developed many technical skills for the management and automation of count, acoustic, and spatial bird data. In my current role at Birds Canada I am a part of the Landscape Science and Conservation team where I work as GIS Spatial Analyst. Here I am able use my technical expertise to aid in the understanding and conservation of wild bird species.
Indigenous Bird Conservation Coordinator
Since childhood, my life has been inspired by nature and wildlife. Growing up in a family of foragers, it was early on that I began noticing environmental change and how it impacts our local communities. I have since completed a bachelors’ degree in Conservation Ecology and my adult life has become motivated by a passion for giving back to nature, supporting the ecological processes that support us, and engaging with people and communities to share knowledge and collaborate on meaningful actions.
My interest is in preventing habitat deterioration and animal population decline. Like many others, I am deeply saddened knowing that beautiful species have become extinct and will never return to the earth because of lack of planning and human comprehension. I am passionate about geospatial technologies and applying them to improve the world around us. I firmly believe that making decisions based on geography is basic to human thinking. My academic knowledge and experience is in Ecology, Digital Geography and GIS, Database Management, Web GIS, GIS mobile apps, automation, and spatial data collection. For more than 12 years, I have applied GIS technologies to a variety of studies including environmental impact assessments, natural heritage studies, socioeconomic, aboriginal, land use studies, wetland delineation, hydrogeology, hydrology, and animal population dynamics among others. Being part of Birds Canada, I have the opportunity to work for a science-based organization and contribute my experience and knowledge to conserve wild birds and prevent their extinction.
Key Biodiversity Area Technician
I always enjoy the natural spaces of my small town in Nigeria. The shrinking of our serene spaces drew me into conservation science, and since then, I have gained a Master’s degree in Sustainable forest management. I have worked locally to collect and analyze data to support biodiversity in the forest industry. I have worked in local advocacy to improve conservation policies. Now, I work in a great team supporting the transition of Canada’s Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) into globally and nationally significant Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA)!
LONG POINT BIRD OBSERVATORY
BUILDING ON OUR PROUD HISTORY OF LONG POINT STEWARDSHIP, MIGRATION RESEARCH, NATIONAL COLLABORATION, EDUCATION, AND COMMUNITY
Thunder Cape Bird Observatory Coordinator
Having spent many years witnessing the miracle of avian migration I continue to be both humbled and inspired by how we fit on this planet. For the past 6 years I have been the Program Coordinator of Thunder Cape Bird Observatory. I recruit and train Volunteers in bird handling and manage the operation of our robust protocol for both of our spring and autumn seasons on the north shore of Lake Superior. During breeding season geo tagging Grey-cheeked Thrush and Blackpoll Warblers has drawn me to Newfoundland and Labrador. Perhaps with information gleaned by my efforts we humans can learn from the myriad of avian species crossing geographical and human boundaries. Their precious presence and perseverance reflects the best of our abilities.
Ontario Projects Biologist
519-586-3531 ext. 151
I have been interested in birds from a very young age. This interest grew into a passion during my studies at Trent University. After graduating, I volunteered at Long Point Bird Observatory and I was hooked. I went on to work as the Program Coordinator for the observatory and enjoyed incorporating education and outreach into the work I do as much as possible. Currently, as the Ontario Projects Biologist I am able to provide contributions to numerous Birds Canada projects including the Forest Birds at Risk Program, Forest Bird Monitoring Program, and the Long Point Bird Observatory. I am very excited to be collecting data that guide conservation policy and garner a deep understanding of bird behaviour and ecology.
LPBO Program Coordinator
LPBO Program Coordinator
The outdoors have always been where I felt most at home. Learning how to name birds and get familiar with them therefore came naturally. Following that interest in birds and general curiosity, I started bird banding and immediately fell in love: that’s what brought me to Long Point. When I first set foot at the Tip station, I remember being greatly overwhelmed by the feeling that this was a very special place and that I belonged there. After volunteering at LPBO for a while, I became Program Coordinator and since then have had the chance to practice the art of banding, to learn more every day, to teach and meet people who are as passionate as me, and to make a tangible difference in bird conservation.
MIGRATION SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION
INNOVATIVE PARTNERSHIPS TO FILL CRITICAL KNOWLEDGE GAPS AND SUPPORT OUR SHARED RESPONSIBILITY FOR MIGRATORY BIRDS
Motus Program Coordinator – Atlantic Region
I have been fascinated by birds since a young age. After completing my Master’s on the post-breeding behavior of Swainson’s Thrushes at Acadia University, I joined the Birds Canada’s team in the Atlantic Region in 2018 to run the Maritimes Marsh Monitoring Program. Since then, I have taken on more responsibilities related to the Motus Wildlife Tracking System – namely, managing the Atlantic array of Motus receiver stations and supporting Motus users worldwide. I am proud to be part of Birds Canada and contributing to a greater understanding of birds and their environment.
Atlantic Migration Technician
Growing up, I was always passionate about wildlife, and I knew I wanted to pursue this passion in my career. I am happy to have been able to do so throughout my education and in my current role with Birds Canada. Prior to joining Birds Canada, I studied Common Eiders in the Canadian low Arctic for my Master’s degree and I studied the stopover movement ecology of Semipalmated Sandpipers and Semipalmated Plover in Atlantic Canada for my undergraduate research. During my undergraduate work, I realized the value of the Motus Wildlife Tracking System as a research tool, and I am proud to now be able to do my part to help the network run smoothly for other research initiatives in my work with Birds Canada. Specifically, I assist in the deployment and maintenance of Motus stations in the Maritimes, and I help manage Motus automated radio-telemetry data.
Motus Coordinator - British Columbia
I’m working to expand the Motus Wildlife Tracking System in Western Canada. Prior to joining Birds Canada, I studied Red Knots on the James Bay coast for my Masters degree. I also spent several years working as a field technician, primarily with shorebirds in the Bay of Fundy and James Bay, but also with seabirds, passerines, and small mammals on various projects. I love being in the field and I’m interested in migration, population ecology, and the conservation of highly mobile species.
Motus Program Coordinator – Ontario
My role focuses on supporting the growth of the Motus Wildlife Tracking System and assisting with aspects of our bird observatory operations. I’m responsible for Motus collaborator outreach and communications and maintaining Motus infrastructure in Ontario and beyond. My past research and conservation experience includes bird banding at various observatories, including Long Point Bird Observatory, and studying mammals such as grizzly bears. I am a co-founder and coordinator of the Ontario Badger Project, which has sought to better understand and conserve Ontario’s endangered badger population.
Migration Program Technician
MOBILIZING PEOPLE IN CANADA
WELCOMING ALL BIRD ENTHUSIASTS, RAISING AWARENESS, AND PROVIDING MEANINGFUL OPPORTUNITIES FOR PEOPLE TO TAKE ACTIONS
Outreach & Content Specialist
519-586-3531 ext. 198
Some of my fondest birding memories come from early days spent Christmas Bird Counting around my hometown of Calgary, Alberta. Those early Christmas Bird Count (CBC) experiences continued later as I moved around British Columbia and Ontario. In fact, the CBC is such an infectious tradition, that it’s part of the reason I got into birds in the first place. Sure, CBCs are fun, but they are also a valuable tool. Counts conducted by Citizen Scientists contribute to a 120-year-old data set, and results are used to monitor trends in population sizes of birds, which can indicate overall environmental health. The perennial devotion of thousands of CBC volunteers, who brave often unforgiving conditions, is truly inspirational, and is the reason I’m certain that birds and the natural world are important to Canadians.
Urban Engagement & Events Coordinator
My work at Birds Canada involves planning and executing events, the coordination and evolution of the Toronto Bird Celebration, and managing the binocular kit program. It is exciting to be working with a team, and partners across Canada, that are passionate about urban natural environments, and making connections with wildlife accessible for all. My lifelong appreciation of the natural world stems from summers spent visiting family on – and exploring the shorelines of – Cape Breton Island, and the Ontario provincial park trips in my youth. When I’m not watching the feeder outside my office window you can find me reading, running a small baking business, going to galleries, and enjoying seasonal outdoor activities including: skating, snowshoeing, swimming, and camping.
BC Outreach Specialist
I grew up in the bustling city of Manila, Philippines and often watched the Pied Fantails forage around the neighbour’s garden. Upon moving to Canada, I’ve completed a Biological Sciences degree from Simon Fraser University and have embarked on numerous science communication roles. In my current role, I support the Birds Canada team through photography, videography, social media, outreach and connecting minority communities to birds and the natural world.
Donor Relations Coordinator
519-586-3531 ext. 121
kris @ birdscanada.org
Communications and Brand Manager
I first got to know my chickadees and cardinals as a kid watching my family’s feeder in Ottawa. Pursuing opportunities in wild bird rescue and rehabilitation and environmental education galvanized my interest, and sparked my passion for introducing more people to the world of birds. I went on to earn a B.Sc. Biological Science and a Graduate Diploma in Science Communication. In my role at Birds Canada, I share stories of amazing people taking action to help birds and important news about bird research and conservation. It’s incredible to work with a dedicated team of staff and supporters, united by our love of birds and drive to conserve them.
Donor Database Manager
I hail from a small town in southern Ontario. I’m very passionate about my career at Birds Canada, and it shows. I’ve worked here for over 25 years maintaining the member/donor database. Working for Birds Canada has been very inspirational, learning something new every day about birds. Their beauty, their serenading calls, are majestic and should not be taken for granted. As a wife, mother, and now grand-mother, I take great pride in my family role too. When I’m not spending time with my family or working, my favourite thing to do is gardening and crafts.
Audrey Steren Lenoir
Digital Communications Coordinator
Birdsong when I wake up every morning is my favorite music, because you never know who the artist is behind the melody. I remember long walks in the forest with my father where we used to find and name the birds we heard. Being passionate about nature and animals – this is the reason why I chose to work at Birds Canada. I love art, music, and I sing … very badly, so I prefer to help conserve birds so that they can continue to sing! I have an Honours Bachelor of Public Relations and Communications from the University of Ottawa, a diploma of college studies from La Cité, and a Masters degree in marketing from HEC Montréal, as well as previous work experience as a communications and marketing specialist.
One of my first field jobs was surveying Cerulean Warblers at the Queen’s University Biological Station. This experience piqued my interest in birds, specifically Species at Risk, and I haven’t looked back since. After receiving a Master of Science in Biology studying habitat loss in Eastern Whip-poor-wills, I began working at Birds Canada in 2016 on swifts and swallows. Now, as the Grants Manager I support a range of Birds Canada’s important work to conserve birds. I am inspired by the talented and dedicated Birds Canada staff and supporters and do this work, because birds need our help more than ever. I have an Honours Bachelor of Public Relations and Communications from the University of Ottawa, a diploma of college studies from La Cité, and a Masters degree in marketing from HEC Montréal, as well as previous work experience as a communications and marketing specialist.
Manager, Project FeederWatch
519-586-3531 ext. 134
I manage Project FeederWatch in Canada, a program that turns people’s bird feeding hobby into research for conservation. Participants feed birds in their backyards and send counts of those birds to us online. I love being part of this program and feeling the enthusiasm and commitment of the volunteers. We have learned so much about the winter distributions and movements of birds in North America through Project FeederWatch. Prior to my role with FeederWatch, I studied waterfowl diets and invasive Phragmites through Birds Canada’s Long Point Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Fund.
FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION
519-586-3531 ext. 145
My knowledge of birds was limited when I first arrived here, but I quickly noticed that my colleagues were passionate and dedicated to their work, and their enthusiasm was inspiring. As a result, I have become a Project Feederwatch participant (along with my family), counting bird species and the numbers of birds that come to my bird feeders. This information helps scientists study winter bird populations and informs them of any rarities, like seeing a Rose-breasted Grosbeak in January! I also participate in the yearly Birdathon where I help raise funds for bird conservation. In my role I perform many financial tasks, including nationwide payroll. I’m delighted to tell people I work for this organization and I am proud of Birds Canada’s accomplishments with regard to conservation and the environment.
I grew up on the shores of Lake Wanapitei in Greater Sudbury, Ontario, and developed a passion for nature and observing wildlife in their natural habitat, including my favourite bird, the Common Loon. I’m honoured to work with such a passionate group who is dedicated to bird conservation using sound science and evidence-based research.
Office Operations Manager
519-586-3531 ext. 112
I grew up in northern Ontario, in the boreal forest, and have long been passionate about conservation of our wild places. I am a former photo agent, and have worked with multiple news and photo archives over the course of my career, including archives dedicated to natural history. I also have experience in HR and Finance roles, and am thrilled to use these skills to push the mandate of Birds Canada forward: conservation!