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By Stu Mackenzie, Director, Migration Ecology, Birds Canada

Photo: Long Point Bird Observatory

It’s time to start planning ahead for the summer! If you’re a teenager looking for ornithological adventure (or you know one), there are a number of amazing opportunities that you may want to explore. Several Canadian Migration Monitoring Network bird observatories and other organizations across the country offer workshops that serve as jumping-off points for many of Canada’s best and brightest scientists, field biologists, and naturalists.

Doug Tarry Young Ornithologists’ Workshop (YOW)

Every year, Long Point Bird Observatory (LPBO) and Birds Canada invite promising young ornithologists to experience nature and ornithology firsthand in a research-oriented setting. “YOWs” enjoy a wide range of hands-on natural history and scientific activities, with a focus on bird banding and migration monitoring, centred at LPBO in southern Ontario. In 2020, we will be offering two workshops: one from August 1-9 and another from August 15-24. Space is limited to six participants per workshop, ranging in age from 13-17 years old.

The cost of the workshop is $500, which is heavily subsidized by funding provided by the Doug Tarry Natural History Fund. The fee covers all direct costs of the workshop (accommodation, meals, workshop travel, equipment and materials, special activities while at Long Point, and professional staff with a 2:1 instructor to participant ratio at all times). Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from Long Point, but pickups at the nearest airport/train stations can be arranged.

Prospective participants should complete the application form, and send via email to Applications are due by April 30.

Other opportunities for youth in Canada

Bird Protection Québec offers financial assistance to Québec teens wishing to attend either the Doug Tarry Young Ornithologists’ Workshop in Long Point or the Observatoire d’oiseaux de Tadoussac and Regroupement QuébecOiseaux Ornithology Camp offered in August at Tadoussac, Québec. For information, visit

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