By Kyle Cameron, Ontario Projects Biologist
Long Point Bird Observatory (LPBO) and Birds Canada are proud to celebrate another successful summer of the Doug Tarry Young Ornithologists’ Workshop (YOW)!
A total of 13 participants were selected to join. This year’s participants (affectionately known as “YOWs”) were:
Isaac Buckstein – Toronto
Joey D’Attilio – Ottawa
Quinn Fleming – Sparta
Desmond MacNeal – Rockwood
Jalela Ng – Fergus
Charlotte Robinson – Vancouver
Sam Cameron – Whitby
Denver Draper – London
Miriam Labonte – Chatham
Evening Martin – Creemore
Alexander Phippen – Sault St. Marie
Gaelen Schnare – Nelson
Nathaniaal Silvester – London
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, Matt Fuirst, Samuel Perfect, Felicia St-Arnault, Alessandra Wilcox, and Liam Thorne, YOWs spent most mornings learning the ins and outs of migration monitoring data and bird banding. The afternoons were filled with various activities, including: preparing museum specimens and mothing with naturalists extraordinaire Mary Gartshore and Peter Carson, birding Norfolk County, herptiles and road ecology talk, 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.
“During my week at Long Point as a YOW I gained so much invaluable knowledge and experience! I learned to extract, handle, and band birds!” reflects YOW participant Miriam Labonte. “We visited several habitats in and around Long Point, which allowed us to see a variety of exciting species, many of which were new to me! This week was incredible, and I gained skills I hope to use to help ecosystems and species around me.”
2023 YOW Group at LPBO
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, Vortex Canada, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, and gracious supporters of LPBO. 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.
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.
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 2024 and follow LPBO on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and Instagram.