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Waterbird Surveys at Ontario IBAs

by Mike Burrell

Long-tailed Ducks Photo: Mike Burrell

It was a busy fall for waterbird surveys at Ontario Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas. Many IBA Caretakers participated in or organized survey blitzes in their local IBAs, and the results were spectacular.

Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory organized a great team of volunteers to cover the entire Prince Edward County South Shore IBA.

A team from the Kingston Field Naturalists surveyed the Wolfe Island IBA and recorded an impressive 2.5% of the estimated global population of Redheads.

Twenty hardy volunteers, many attending the Ontario Field Ornithologists’ gull weekend, tallied about 3% of the world’s Bonaparte’s Gulls on their survey of the Niagara River Corridor IBA.

And finally, volunteers have started doing biweekly surveys in the West End of Lake Ontario IBA to monitor the several duck species wintering there in globally significant numbers.

Prince Edward Pt. group Photo: Mike Burrell

IBA survey blitzes make use of the IBA Canada eBird Protocol, which involves teams of people splitting up to cover most or all of an IBA, and counting all the birds they encounter.

Bird Studies Canada’s Ontario IBA Program is generously supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Special thanks to Ivor Williams, who developed an eBird checklist aggregator tool for the IBA Program that makes compiling results a breeze!

To learn more or get involved, visit the IBA Canada website or contact Mike Burrell ( On a mobile device? Access the mobile IBA web directory!

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