The McGill Bird Observatory (MBO) is holding a Sponsors’ Day on Saturday, September 8 from 8 a.m. –12: 30 p.m. (the rain date is Sunday, Sept. 9), to thank its generous donors for supporting the MBO’s work. The general public is invited to this event to learn about work being done by the MBO.
“The event is early in the day because that is the best time to see birds,” explains spokesperson Alison Hackney. “Visitors will have the opportunity to watch how we capture (gently), tag, and release birds, and learn more about our research. The importance of this work is underlined by a recently-issued report on the state of Canada’s birds. Unfortunately, populations are in decline for many bird species in Canada. And bird populations often give early warning signs about the state of the environment in general.”
“This is a chance to see migratory birds up close, watch the banding, tour the facilities and learn more about research at MBO. Birds are early birds, so come early to see them. Bring your family along. We recommend wearing long pants, boots/running shoes, sun hat, and possibly a sweater. As parking is limited, carpool if possible. Light refreshments will be served.”
“This is the time of year that many birds begin their fall migrations and a chance to see rare species that spend their summers in the boreal forest, well to north of Montreal.” Bird Protection Quebec and Regroupement Québec Oiseaux will be promoting their activities at the MBO event. Bird Studies Canada is supplying pamphlets about their various programs, notably Project FeederWatch.
The MBO location, situated near the Morgan Arboretum, is part of the Canadian Migration Monitoring Network. To get there, take exit 44 (Morgan) from Highway 40 west. Turn left on chemin Saint Marie (Road), continuing west and passing the Ecomuseum Zoo on your right. By the stop sign at chemin Saint Marie and chemin des Pins, turn right onto des Pins. You will see a weather station on your right (it looks like a giant golf ball). Drive to the end of the field and turn right onto a small dirt road. Follow this dirt road until you reach two gates; the MBO gate is on the left side of the road. If the gate is open, drive up the small road to the parking area. Otherwise, wait at the entrance until someone comes to open the gate.
More information about bird migration research and about the MBO is available at: www.migrationresearch.org
For information about the Canada’s bird populations: www.stateofcanadasbirds.org