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By Steven Price, President, Birds Canada

Family, friends, staff, Board members, volunteers, and members have all asked me how COVID-19 is affecting Birds Canada, and what can they do to help. We are in the midst of an unfolding health crisis, but just as science guides Birds Canada in all we do, science can guide us on dealing with disease. And beyond protecting your health, there are positive steps and opportunities for you and for birds. Here are my current thoughts and advice. Keep well, and continue enjoying birds safely!

American Robin Photo: Nat Capitanio, Project FeederWatch participant

 

  1. Your health and well-being are paramount
    • Be alert, get prepared, be calm – avoid succumbing to fear or feeling paralyzed.
    • Read and follow the precautions outlined in reliable sources only, in particular your provincial and municipal health departments who know the situation near you best.
    • Look out for your family, friends, neighbours and colleagues, especially those who are at higher risk.

 

  1. Things you can do to help 
    • Enjoy birds when you can! While travel is discouraged, except for essential reasons, when you are outside and certainly in your backyard or from your balcony and windows take time often to look for birds and enjoy what nature you can. Spring is coming, migration is rising!
    • Encourage others to enjoy birds safely, as a healthy way to deal with stress, confinement, and boredom. Bring birds into your conversations and virtual chats!
    • Explore Citizen Science opportunities and continue (or start) reporting your sightings on eBird.
    • Families looking for activities for the backyard can try the “ID-birds-in-your region tool.
    • There are lots of reading resources and new virtual activities about birds online at birdscanada.organd our social media channels: @birdscanada on Facebook and Twitter and @birds.canada on Instagram.

 

  1. Regarding meetings and events
    • Keep alert to the status of meetings and events hosted by Birds Canada, which may become cancelled. Please refer to our social media channels (@birdscanada on Facebook and Twitter and @birds.canada on Instagram) for updates.
    • Best to contact your local Birds Canada project coordinator if you have any questions or concerns about your upcoming Citizen Science activities.
    • Major events, such as the status of the Toronto Bird Celebration, will be posted on the Birds Canada and event websites.

 

  1. More steps Birds Canada is taking
    • We are monitoring and responding to the situation across the country daily.
    • Our staff are empowered to take necessary steps to keep themselves and volunteers safe during meetings and activities.
    • We will maintain our commitment to and support of our volunteers, donors, supporters, colleagues, suppliers, and visitors.

 

  1. Remember the Top 6 Ways to Help Birds
    • The days ahead could be your unexpected opportunity to plan your bird-friendly garden, address your reflective windows, and further learn about and support conservation groups like Birds Canada.

 

  1. Don’t forget Birds Canada

 

  1. Share your ideas
    • …for ways to enjoy the world around you despite – or even living with – COVID-19. We encourage you to tag us on social media (@birdscanada on Facebook and Twitter and @birds.canada on Instagram).

Photo: Kerrie Wilcox