The Bruce Peninsula Bird Observatory or BPBO is a charitable, non-profit, organization dedicated to both the study and habitat protection of wild bird populations that nest, stage and migrate over the upper Bruce Peninsula at Cabot Head near Dyer’s Bay. BPBO acts as the voice of birds on the Bruce! Our wild bird friends on the Bruce are both temporary (migratory) and permanent guests who rely on the specialist intact grasslands and forest habitats for nesting, feeding and raising their young. During migration, the important and time-limited fruit on grasses, shrubs and trees help to fatten the exhausted birds and prepare their bodies for long distance flights in spring and fall seasons. BPBO accommodates a station scientist including volunteers to help with the study of birds with resulting high-quality data collection that is shared provincially and nationally. BPBO is one of 26 migration monitoring centers across Canada.
We NEED your help to do this important work!
Bird’s the Word
The Bruce Peninsula Bird Observatory pays its station scientist with seasonal funds earned from a two-cottage stewardship program where visitors experience the upper Bruce peninsula in a sustainable way. The two cottages are called: Wingfield Cottage and Grebe Lodge. Both cottages are well-appointed, solar-assisted, and secluded within the 100-acre Cabot Head Provincial Nature Reserve. Cottage stewardship occurs after spring migration and before and after fall migration (mid-May to August-September). These funds provide invaluable assistance with building maintenance, honoraria and site monitoring.
Bird’s Eye View
Migrating birds already know that the northeastern tip of the upper Bruce Peninsula is a food haven—and luckily, it’s also a designated dark sky preserve and UNESCO biosphere reserve. Yay!
The Ugly Ducklings
Migratory birds work non-stop each spring to re-build and re-pair their nesting sites. Like birds, we work hard to maintain our cottages as they endure the elements of driving winds, ice, snow, and intense sunshine each year. Our two cottages need important repairs this year so that we can accommodate our volunteers and stewards in a safe and comfortable way.
Putting All Our Eggs in One Basket
We all want to see the cottages well-maintained but we need more income to do this thoughtfully. Stewardship income is essential to pay our scientist but there is not enough money for building maintenance. Your help in fundraising toward getting some of these things done this year, would take us a long way down the sustainability flyway!
The Wild Goose Chase!
We have a list of repairs and upgrades that need to be completed in the next 2 years to ensure that our accommodations are safe and comfortable for scientist, volunteers and stewardship guests. The most urgent needs include new windows, bathroom vanities, doors and screens and masonry pointing on exterior brick - all of which is estimated to cost close to $20,000.00. Items in need have been temporarily patched to help protect against further deterioration.
Want to put a feather in your cap?
BBC’s Science Focus magazine reported “Until recently, ornithologists believed birds ran out of puff after travelling around 5000km non-stop.” In 2009, an international team of researchers revealed “that a female Bar-tailed Godwit had flown direct from Alaska to New Zealand without stopping – an astounding distance of 11,680km over eight days.”
While raising $20,000.00 takes a lot of steam - please don’t run away! Every dollar we raise with YOUR help, will be dedicated to maintaining the buildings that help us continue important wild bird research, education and stewardship.
As a special bonus, patrons who generously donate $250.00 (or more ) will receive a single draw entry for an entire photography tour day with renowned photographers Ethan Meleg and Arni Stinnissen, maximum of 2 tours awarded. Patrons can choose to photograph wild birds or landscapes located on the beautiful Bruce Peninsula on a mutually agreeable day in 2020 and would be required to travel to the Bruce Peninsula.
Please enjoy this short video a unique 360° virtual reality view of the observatory and staff hosted by Vimeo. Within the 2 minute video you have the ability to look around as if you are really there. Click this link to view >>> Bruce Peninsula Bird Observatory VR Tour
From the list below, consider making a donation to help your favourite bird on the first leg of their twice-yearly migration journey.
The Pecking Order
Eastern Bluebird - $25.00 – nest across parts of southern Ontario and migrate to wintering grounds in the southern USA.
Cool Fact: The male Eastern Bluebird displays at his nest cavity to attract a female. He brings nest material to the hole, goes in and out, and waves his wings while perched above it. That is pretty much his contribution to nest building; only the female Eastern Bluebird builds the nest and incubates the eggs.
Eastern Meadowlark – (declining): $30.00 Eastern Meadowlarks nest in grasslands throughout Ontario and migrate to wintering grounds in southern USA and Central America.
Cool Fact: The Eastern Meadowlark is not in the lark family (Alaudidae)—it’s a member of the blackbird family (Icteridae), which also includes cowbirds and orioles.
Barn Swallow - (threatened) $50.00 Long-distance migrant. Barn Swallows fly from North American breeding grounds to wintering areas in Central and South America.
Cool Fact: According to legend, the Barn Swallow got its forked tail because it stole fire from the gods to bring to people. An angry deity hurled a firebrand at the swallow, singeing away its middle tail feathers.
Golden Crowned Kinglet : $75.00 - These birds next in the Boreal forest and migrate into the southern the USA for winter Cool Fact: Each of the Golden-crowned Kinglet's nostrils is covered by a single, tiny feather.
Red-necked Grebe: $100.00 This is our founding bird at BPBO. Red-necked Grebes nest in northern Canada and up into Alaska. Cool Fact: The Red-necked Grebe migrates over land strictly at night. It sometimes migrates over water or along coasts by day, in large flocks.
Rudy Turnstone $150.00 - extremely long distance migrants . Cool Fact: Young turnstones need to grow up and learn to fly quickly. They take their first flight when they are around 19 days old and fly thousands of miles to the nonbreeding grounds 2 days later. To make things harder, their parents will have departed by this time, leaving the youngsters to make their first migration on their own.
Snowy Owl $250.00 – medium to long-distance migrants. Cool Fact: Male Snowy Owls are barred with dark brown when they’re young and get whiter as they get older. Females keep some dark markings throughout their lives. Although the darkest males and the palest females are nearly alike in color, the whitest birds—including the ones that played Harry Potter’s Hedwig—are always males and the most heavily barred ones are always females.
Source of Cool Facts: Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All About Birds Guide, https://www.allaboutbirds.org/accessed August 28th, 2019.
- Arni Stinnissen
- Erin Coccimiglio
- Sharon Spall
Fundraising team: Friends of BPBO (6)
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