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By Kate Dalgleish, Director, Development, Birds Canada

“Before working here, I thought there were only like 12 birds in the whole world!” – Rosie Kirton

If you’ve made a donation to Birds Canada or Long Point Bird Observatory in recent memory, you will likely know that name. Rosie has been working with donors and supporters for over 30 years! She is often the first person you speak with if you have a question about your giving and is always ready to lend a hand or solve a problem. We’re featuring her on our blog to mark her milestone work anniversary and share more about her and why we love having her on the team.

Rosie Kirton was born and raised in the Long Point, ON, area but at first she was far more interested in technology than the birds in her region. That came later. After studying computer science, she was looking for a data management position close to home and landed at Long Point Bird Observatory. As the saying goes, “the rest is history”!

Rosie Kirton Photo: Kris Dobney

When Rosie started at the organization, there were five people working out of a large house on the Reforestation Station property in St. Williams. She had the difficult job of developing a database for all of our donors, members, and volunteers. She applied her practical mind and tenacious spirit to the task – and today, 30 years later, we’re still using the same software and database! But that’s not to say there haven’t been advances. Rosie has always been keen to ensure that our use of technology evolves with our growing organization, and she is constantly finding better ways of serving our wonderful donors. 

Rosie has worn a few different hats in addition to being the Donor Database Manager. She helped fledge both Project FeederWatch and the Great Canadian Birdathon, raising over $100,000 for bird conservation, and engaging tens of thousands of bird enthusiasts. Rosie’s contribution to bird conservation is immeasurable!

Rosie is proud to see how much the organization has grown. She said that it has been amazing to see an organization go from six employees to over 100, and to see the growth in programming that began at Long Point Bird Observatory and now stretches across the country, and beyond. It is a remarkable thing to be a part of. 

As for her love of birds – that began on her first Birdathon when she saw a Yellow Warbler. 

We are so grateful to Rosie and her dedication to Birds Canada and our supporters. Congratulations on your 30 years, Rosie! 

Rosie Kirton (left) birding with Birds Canada supporter George Pond (centre) and Birds Canada coworker Dr. Doug Tozer (right) Photo: Kris Dobney
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