To our members and friends:
The past year has been filled with many changes. While COVID-19 altered our day-to-day lives immensely, we imagine the birds were largely unaware. Spring migration occurred, birds sang their songs and raised their broods, and the fall migration swept them back away again. Despite nature continuing on, our banding operations looked very different. Banding was limited in the spring, and only a daily census was completed during the fall. We’re happy we had the opportunity to collect this data and contribute to the monitoring goals of our mandate, albeit in a limited way. We did, however, greatly miss interacting with visitors, school groups, and volunteers; to us, it’s both the birds and the people that make operating a banding lab worthwhile.
Today, we have an announcement to make about the future of our organization. In recent weeks, the Lower Grand River Land Trust Inc. (which governs Ruthven Park) terminated their operating agreement with the Haldimand Bird Observatory. In simplest terms, this means our organization will no longer be running a banding station at Ruthven Park. This past spring marked 25 years of banding at Ruthven, and we are incredibly proud of the contribution it made to scientific monitoring, stewardship, and education.
We are now at a crossroads and are actively deciding how our organization will move forward. We are considering new local banding locations in the county and in Hamilton, Ontario, while we continue to be involved at Fern Hill School. We are committed to monitoring migrant and resident birds, while providing an open environment where visitors can learn, experience, and participate. As our future path becomes clearer, we will keep you updated and let you know how you can reconnect with us.
Our blog will now have a new web address, so please update your bookmarks/favourites to include: https://www.haldimandbirdobservatory.com/ . Currently, the old web address redirects to the new one, but that will cease after a period of time. Also, please note that our email subscribers from the old blog address will need to sign up again in order to subscribe to the blog at this address. See the sidebar on the right to subscribe.
We wish you all happiness and health for the coming year, and we hope you will continue on this journey of studying, monitoring, and appreciating birds with us.
Rick Ludkin (HBO Chair and Master Bander) and The Haldimand Bird Observatory Board