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Your health and safety are paramount. Please see this note from Birds Canada President Steven Price about undertaking Citizen Science surveys during the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

Common Loons Photo: Missy Mandel

Canadian Lakes Loon Survey – Canada-wide

Volunteer opportunity

Citizen Scientists are needed to monitor the reproductive success of the Common Loon across its entire breeding range in Canada. This involves counting Common Loon chicks and taking note of their ages during the summer. At least three visits to the lake are needed: one to see if adult Common Loons are on territory (June); one to see if chicks hatch (July); and one to see if chicks survive to six weeks of age (August).

Is it for me?

This is a great opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts who have an interest in the health of their lakes and in Common Loons. You don’t need to be a bird ID expert – but at a minimum, you should be able to tell the difference between a Common Loon and other waterbirds. You will need binoculars and, in most situations, a watercraft of some kind.

Learn more and get involved

Please visit birdscanada.org/loons and review the volunteer position description, then register via the links provided. If you have questions after visiting the survey webpage, please contact Kathy Jones at 1-888-448-2473, ext. 124 or volunteer@birdscanada.org.

 

Marsh monitoring volunteer Photo: David Featherstone

Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program – Great Lakes Region (Ontario & U.S.)

Volunteer opportunity

We’re looking for Citizen Scientists to survey birds and/or amphibians in Great Lakes marshes. Amphibian surveys require four or five marsh visits, after dark, between April 1 and July 15 (though timing may vary depending on latitude). Bird surveys require three to five visits between May 20 and July 5.

Is it for me?

Amphibian surveys are great for beginners because you can learn the amphibian calls from the materials provided. Intermediate-level birders who can identify the 50 most common bird species encountered in Great Lakes marshes (by sight or sound, without picking up a field guide) are good candidates for the bird surveys. Note that routes are in marshes and are often challenging to access. For bird surveys, you will need to provide your own broadcast unit and binoculars. Training materials will be provided.

Learn more and get involved

Please visit birdscanada.org/gl_mmp, review the Great Lakes Marsh Monitor Position Description, look at the available sites, and then request a route. If you still have questions after reviewing that information, please contact Kathy Jones at 1-888-448-2473, ext. 124 or volunteer@birdscanada.org.

 

American Woodcock Photo: Christian Artuso

American Woodcock Singing-Ground Survey – Ontario

Volunteer opportunity

Volunteers are needed in specific locations to help monitor American Woodcocks. This involves counting woodcocks along a roadside route for a single evening, starting a half-hour before sunset. The survey is conducted in April or May, with the exact timing depending on your latitude.

Is it for me?

This is a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors while supporting the conservation management of a lovable bird. This survey is suitable for anyone who has good hearing and can recognize the “peent” vocalization of an American Woodcock – you don’t need to be a birding expert. To participate, you will need a vehicle and should be comfortable driving in twilight. You’ll also need email and a computer, since the entire program is managed online.

Learn more and get involved

Please visit https://www.birdscanada.org/bird-science/american-woodcock-survey/, review the map of routes, look for an available route near you, and then request a route. New routes are not being established at this time. If you have questions after reviewing the map, please contact Kathy Jones at 1-888-448-2473, ext. 124 or volunteer@birdscanada.org.