Kyle Cameron, Acting Long Point Bird Observatory Program Manager
After a two-year hiatus, Long Point Bird Observatory (LPBO) and Birds Canada are proud to celebrate the return of the Doug Tarry Young Ornithologists’ Workshop (YOW)!
The workshop didn’t run in 2020 or 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To make up for lost opportunities and double the impact of the workshop, we ran two sessions in 2022. A total of 10 participants were selected to join. This year’s participants (affectionately known as “YOWs”) were: Jaden Barney from Sackville, NB; Ceana Klump from Toronto, ON; Lucas Liu from Waterloo, ON; Cameron Montgomery from Vancouver, BC; Eila O’Neil from Oakville, ON; Max Segler from Toronto, ON; Liam Thorne from Hamilton, ON; Josh Yiu from Vancouver, BC; Kay Walker from Ottawa, ON; and Raspberry Yow-Fairs from Toronto, ON.
The YOWs were thrust into observatory life, conducting migration monitoring at LPBO’s Old Cut Research Station. Under the tutelage of Birds Canada professional ornithologists Kyle Cameron, Julia Marshall, Samuel Perfect, and Felicia St-Arnault, they spent most mornings learning how to accurately collect and record migration monitoring data, including all the intricacies of bird banding. The afternoons were filled with various activities including: hummingbird banding with bird banding aficionado David Okines, preparing museum specimens and mothing with naturalists extraordinaire Mary Gartshore and Peter Carson, birding Norfolk County, field sketching with Megan Hiebert, zip-lining at Long Point Eco-adventures to develop teambuilding and comradery, and – a highlight for everyone – a trip to the Tip of Long Point.
“Having the opportunity to be a Young Ornithologist and volunteer at Long Point Bird Observatory has been a life changing experience for me,” reflects YOW participant Lucas Liu. “Learning about ornithology and conservation by watching the millions of birds migrating, and through the thousands of birds banded has been incredible. But more than that, the amazing people I met there were so inspiring, knowledgeable and kind. They have taught me so much and helped create memories that will last a lifetime.”
Lucas Liu Photo : Kyle Cameron
Support youth in bird research and conservation
Youth engagement, education, and training are essential in our efforts to conserve Canada’s birds and the habitats they rely on. The workshop is supported in part by the Doug Tarry Natural History Fund and gracious supporters of Long Point Bird Observatory. If you’d like to show your support for the Young Ornithologists’ Workshop, you can do so with a donation to LPBO or contact Birds Canada to discuss giving options.
A very special thank-you to Vortex Canada, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, and the Ontario Trillium Foundation for their support of the program. Vortex Canada is LPBO’s official optics partner, supporting our youth engagement programs. Vortex Canada outfitted the YOWs with quality binoculars, spotting scopes, and helped to support costs of travel and accommodation. TD Friends of the Environment Foundation provided support for development and delivery of the program. Recent renovations to demonstration and research laboratories at the Old Cut Research Station supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation provided the YOWs with an enhanced and safer experience.
More about the Young Ornithologists’ Workshop
The workshop was named in honour of the late Doug Tarry, who had the generosity and foresight to help LPBO establish a fund that supports the workshop to this day. The workshop aims to foster the passion and knowledge of promising youth from across Canada through an intensive week of hands-on ornithological, science, and naturalist-oriented programming at LPBO. Previous participants are eligible to return to LPBO in the year following their workshop as Young Ornithologist Interns. The internship builds upon the fundamentals learned during the workshop, providing more advanced instruction and involvement in other aspects of the observatory’s research program.
The workshop began as youth excursions in the late 70s, and developed into the workshop format that has been offered annually since 1991. Over 150 youth have been through the program so far. The alumni include some of Canada’s best and brightest scientists, ornithologists, and naturalists, and numerous Birds Canada staff.
For information on applying, visit birdscanada.org/discover-birds/training-and-workshops in early 2023 and follow Long Point Bird Observatory on social media.
Photo: Kyle Cameron