Long-billed Curlew Photo: Catherine Jardine
Giving Tuesday is a growing global movement that celebrates the spirit of giving. Not only is it a great time to give back to your favourite causes, it’s also a time for us to say “thank you.” We’d like to thank YOU – the people who care most about Canada’s birds. You are a critical part of our conservation success!
Last year, over six million Canadians did some good by participating in Giving Tuesday. We hope you’ll join in this year on Tuesday, November 27th. Show your love for birds and help us meet our goal of raising $10,000 for bird research and conservation!
Birds Need our Help
Your Giving Tuesday gift to Bird Studies Canada will help birds across the country, like the Long-billed Curlew.
The Long-billed Curlew is North America’s largest shorebird, and a majestic symbol of the western grasslands. Unfortunately, results from the Breeding Bird Survey show that this iconic species declined by about 36% in North America between 1970 and 2015. Once an abundant breeder over most of the prairie regions, populations have dipped as a result of habitat loss and changes in agricultural practices. The Long-billed Curlew is now listed as a species of Special Concern under Canada’s Species at Risk Act.
Movements of satellite-tagged curlews in 2017-18
Long-billed Curlews are no longer found breeding in Manitoba, but fortunately, some continue to nest in grasslands of southern Saskatchewan and Alberta, and in the interior of B.C. With help from partners, funders, and supporters like you, a team of Bird Studies Canada researchers started tracking curlews breeding at BC’s Skookumchuck Prairie Important Bird and Biodiversity Area in 2017. This project involves carefully attaching unique leg flags and satellite tags to the curlews so that individual birds can be identified and tracked. The goal is to find out how these birds use habitat on the breeding and non-breeding grounds and exactly where they go outside of breeding season. This will help us understand what threats they face and how to reverse their declines.
So far, we have tracked seven birds for a full year. In doing so, we’ve gained valuable information about their nesting success, where they spent the winter, where they stopped along their migratory routes, and more. You can see their journeys for yourself on our interactive map.
How You Can Help
In order to conserve these at-risk birds, we need to learn more about them and hopefully expand our project into other parts of BC. Here are some examples of the essential steps your gift can help us achieve:
$20 will purchase a unique leg flag to identify an individual curlew. This allows members of the public to help us track the birds by reporting sightings of tagged birds on eBird.
$60 provides banding supplies and a day’s worth of gas, enabling us to capture and band a Long-billed Curlew.
$100 helps us track a tagged curlew by providing one month of satellite time for a single satellite tag.
$1200 provides enough satellite time to track a Long-billed Curlew for a full year, as it flies all the way from BC to its overwintering site and back again.
$4000 provides a brand-new satellite tag, which is needed to track a Long-billed Curlew for a full year.
Long-billed Curlew Photo: David Bradley
Would you like to support bird research and conservation in honour of Giving Tuesday? Make an online gift to help the Long-billed Curlew and the other amazing birds that make their homes in Canada.