Birds Canada values the work of our Citizen Science volunteers, who are often selfless in their commitment. We have come to the difficult but necessary decision to suspend all volunteer surveys and field work until further notice. Please read our updated Policy on Resumption of Field Activities under COVID-19 and Policy on Outdoor Work under COVID-19.
Policy on Resumption of Field Activities under COVID-19
Field activities and bird surveys can resume when provincial guidelines allow for previously restricted or prohibited activities to resume. All provincial and local health directives and guidelines will still need to be respected, which may constrain travel, car-pooling, accommodation and other arrangements key to bird surveys and other field activities, even to the point that they cannot, in practice, resume.
In cases where a federal or provincial government makes a written request to deploy Birds Canada staff and other resources for Species-at-Risk or other activities they have deemed essential, staff may comply where our activities can be managed safely.
As always, no staff, contractor or volunteer for Birds Canada should ever undertake any activity that they regard as unsafe. If faced with such a situation, they should avoid the risk immediately and contact their project lead.
Updated May 4, 2020
Policy on Outdoor Work under COVID-19
In the current, global COVID-19 crisis, still growing and largely unpredictable across Canada, field work cannot be deemed an essential service, by most considerations.
To meet the law in some provinces, and to stay within increasingly restrictive public health and safety orders and recommendations across jurisdictions:
Birds Canada has resolved that health and safety precaution requires that citizen science surveys and field work associated with Birds Canada that require any form of travel cannot go ahead, so have been cancelled, until further notice.
This health and safety decision applies to all projects involving staff, contractors and volunteers associated with Birds Canada.
Birds Canada will stay abreast of the evolving situation and review this policy, as needed.
We recognize how extraordinary the cancellation is to everyone who enjoys and values field work and volunteer surveys. Two constructive outlets we recommend:
- We encourage those who can survey safely at the property where they reside to do so, provided it can be done so within public health guidelines.
- New online bird resources and activities for all ages are appearing on a new section of the Birds Canada website, called The Roost – please check in often and stay involved!
April 6, 2020