Update on IBA Program

For anyone able to pick this up and not on our email distribution list, here is a quick update on some of the goings on in the Manitoba IBA Program
Upcoming Events
  • We have a program of events planned for 2016, including at least 5 bird blitzes. news on these will be distributed by email and on the blog in due course. In the meantime we have a busy start to May. On May 7th, Christian Artuso and I will be heading up to Winnipegosis to deliver a workshop on the IBA Program. We will give an introduction to the IBA Program and some of the birds you would expect to encounter in the local IBAs, including Sagemace and Coleman Bay Islands (http://www.ibacanada.ca/site.jsp?siteID=MB081). If you know of anyone living in the area who might be interested, please get in contact with me.
  • Closer to Winnipeg, International Migratory Bird Day is coming up and Oak Hammock Marsh is the place to be. We will be giving a birding walk at 8am in the morning, demonstrating to people how to carry out the IBA Protocol and hopefully see some fun birds. At 10am Christian and I will be giving a talk on the IBA Program and how to use eBird. The cost of attending is the standard cost of entering the centre. Christian will be giving another talk at 11am on Manitoba’s returning songbirds and then at 1am, Paula Grieef will give what I am sure will be an excellent workshop on birding by ear. To complete the day, there will be an opportunity from 2:30pm to look at some binoculars (see http://www.oakhammockmarsh.ca/events/international-migratory-bird-day/). In addition, if there is any interest in doing a quick IBA blitz at Oak Hammock following some of the events listed, then please let me know.
  • If you are further afield and not going to make it to Oak Hammock, then I really would encourage you to visit your local IBA and collect as much bird data as possible. This is a fantastic opportunity to get out and enjoy the birds in your area. If you do get out, then please send me your completed eBird checklists – it would be fun to post the number of IBAs monitored and what was seen on our blog.
The Blog
Following a rush of blood to the head, there are now a number of new blogs on the website including:
Funding news
We would like to thank our new funders who have in recent months generously donated to the program. We have recently received new funding from MEC Advocacy and Awareness, The Winnipeg Foundation, TD Friends of the Environment Fund, Blennerhassett Family Foundation and Province of Manitoba Green Team. For a full list of funding partners see https://importantbirdareasmb.ca/donors-and-supporters/. Thanks are also due to Environment Canada’s EcoAction Community Fund who supported the program since 2014 until March 31st 2016.
La Riviere Raptor Festival
It was great to see some familiar faces and some new faces at the La Riviere Raptor Festival. It was a fantastic day for all the family and I would really encourage people who did not attend this year to check it out in 2017.
Grassland Bird Conservation Guide
The final output from the EcoAction Program is the new Landowners Guide to Grassland Bird Conservation in Manitoba. If you haven’t see it already, please check it out on our website at https://importantbirdareasmb.ca/manitoba-grassland-bird-initiative/.
Volunteer Reporting
I have updated the volunteer hour reporting forms and will post to the website. If you wish to use one of our bird checklists to record data and send to me to enter into eBird, you can download the copies at https://importantbirdareasmb.ca/volunteer/maps-and-monitoring-forms/. Remember, if you visit and IBA and eBird it, we can record the volunteer hours. These hours are an important part of fundraising to continue the program.
Other IBA news
Bird Studies Canada are looking for a new IBA Coordinator for Ontario with the deadline just a few days away. If you are, or know of anyone interested in this post, please see http://www.birdscanada.org/news/important-bird-and-biodiversity-areas-coordinator-ontario

Whitewater Lake IBA, a Birders Paradise

In celebration of Nature Week from Travel Manitoba, it’s a great opportunity to share some images from Manitoba’s top places for birds. Donna Martin has kindly sent us some fantastic images from a day out last week at Whitewater Lake near Deloraine. We are also fortunate to have two amazing volunteer Caretakers for this site, Colin Blyth and Gillian Richards. If you travel to Whitewater Lake in the coming weeks, we would love to see your checklists entered on eBird. If you need some help with this, please let us know at iba@naturemanitoba.ca.

IMG_3403

Formerly a rarity in Manitoba, the White-faced Ibis has seemingly become numerous at Whitewater Lake. Photo copyright Donna Martin

IMG_3710

Whitewater Lake is not just a great place for birds. Note the changing landuse in the background, a forewarning of things to come? Photo copyright Donna Martin

IMG_4032

A close-up of a wonderful White-faced Ibis. In the coming weeks, the lake will become a temporary home to thousands of migrating shorebirds. Photo copyright Donna Martin