Page 1: Veronica Aponte to David Bradley
Photo: Reuben Coelho
Though my career is only beginning, I have already had wonderful experiences and encounters with wildlife, and especially with birds! One of the most memorable experiences was searching for Red-headed Woodpeckers in Southern Ontario during the summer of 2010. We spent countless hours walking, driving, carefully listening and looking for this threatened species at the northern edge of its range. The most rewarding moments came when, having spotted one, we managed to locate the nest the pair had spent days carving into a standing dead tree. Using a camera attached to an extension pole, we could even peer into the hole to watch the nestlings.
Photo: Jill Larkin
Photo: Christian Artuso
I poured my heart and soul into coordinating the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas. After five years of field work, I was feeling nostalgic as I left camp to complete my last atlas point counts on the tundra. Just before dawn, I saw a cream-coloured wolf and later found a female Black Scoter with chicks (first confirmed breeding for the project). At the final point, I noticed a movement ahead… a wolverine, an animal I had only dreamt of seeing. I took out my camera as the wolverine continued in my direction then blew right by me and left me shaking.
Photo: Elizabeth Hess
Photo: Christian Marcotte
The photo shows my son Marc-Antoine (who was nine at the time) and Lesley Howes of the Canadian Wildlife Service about to release a bird that had just been banded. In the spring of 2016, my son and I experienced a big first. We both played hooky to participate in a field trip that we’ll never forget. That morning, we were taken in by the beauty of the natural world. I truly believe that the schools of life and nature will always have a lot to teach us.
Photo: Yann Rochepault
Photo: Yves Aubry
Birds fly across national borders whatever conflict might be occurring on the ground. My studies of shorebirds have allowed me to work in remote areas where I feel connected with the other countries they visit. Birds deserve our respect and humility in light of their Olympian capacities. Our only responsibility is to work toward their conservation and benefit. Only through this will the next generations be able to discover this marvelous world.
Photo: Suzanne Labbé
Photo: Pierre Bannon
I have been birdwatching for 40 years. I have so many wonderful memories. One of my favourites is my discovery of a Little Gull nest at the Lachine Rapids in the St. Lawrence River in the 1980s. A friend and I had decided to paddle to an island where the nest was located by crossing some rapids. In hindsight, this seems somewhat foolhardy. It was the first nest to be discovered in Quebec. The Little Gull really has been one of my favourite birds ever since. I’m always enchanted by its delicate shape and the contrast between the top and the underside of its wings.
Photo: Joel Baudequin
Photo: Suzanne Labbé
Generally speaking, birdwatchers get up at the crack of dawn to spot birds. So I was feeling quite pessimistic when I stopped at La Frayère on the South Shore of Montreal on a dreary fall afternoon. It turned out to be one of my best excursions. The cathedral-like silence that hung over the misty St. Lawrence River was only interrupted by the occasional cries of resting Canada Geese and gulls, while Great Egrets flew by slowly and ghost-like. I saw several plovers for the first time, and the drizzle did not stop dozens of migrating kinglets from chirping in the trees.
Photo: Louis Morin
Photo: Garry Donaldson
My interest in birds dates back to 1958, when I was 10 years old. I was at the Camp-école Trois-Saumons, in the county of L’Islet. Even today, in my adopted home of the Gaspé, birds continue to enchant me. I think the most spellbinding birding experience I’ve had took place in Saint-Michel-de-Bellechasse. In the spring of 1973, my husband, a friend and I went to see the Snow Geese. While we were hiding at an old, ruined dock, thousands of geese suddenly took flight, with several hundred of them flying right above our heads, at less than three metres in the air. What a spectacle!
Photo: Andrea Blokpoel
Photo: Hans Blokpoel
Tommy Thompson Park in Toronto is a man-made spit of land constructed from rubble and dredgeate. It juts out into Lake Ontario and was originally the eastern headland of a planned outer harbour. However, the harbour plan fell through and the still bare headland was first colonized by gulls and terns, and later also by cormorants and nightherons. My co-workers from the Canadian Wildlife Service and I studied those large nesting colonies right at the doorstep of Canadaʼs largest city. When the gulls took over the nesting areas of the Common Terns we installed nesting rafts for them. It was very rewarding to see the terns making good use of the rafts.
Centre d'archives de Vaudreuil-Soulanges, à Vaudreuil-Dorion, Fonds Gustave Boyer P13/G1
Photo: Canadian Museum of Nature - Hélène Gaulin
The native birds are one of our nation’s most valuable assets. (…) It has taken Nature thousands of years to establish the equilibrium necessary for our earth to go round (…). Therefore let us try by every means to increase and protect our bird life (…). I say that this (the Migratory Birds Convention Act) is one of the most useful measures that have been brought to the notice of the Senate. I for one endorse it from beginning to end, and I see in it one of the great sources of the future prosperity of this country.
Honorable Gustave Boyer M.P.
Excerpt from Senate Debates, August 6, 1917
Photo: Jay Carlisle
This May I was privileged to be able to work on a Long-billed Curlew study in southeast British Columbia. To catch the birds requires that one first finds the nests - no easy task when they lie perfectly still in the tall grass. We then had to drop a net over the well-camouflaged bird as it lay incubating its eggs. After careful observation (and a bit of luck!) we were able to catch and tag seven birds, and can now remotely follow their migration to their non-breeding grounds and back again next summer.
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