Manitoba IBA Blog Update January 2017

Happy New Year to all our volunteers and readers. As we build up to a new season of events and monitoring there will be a steady build up of activity on this blog and elsewhere. Ahead of that I thought it would be worth highlighting a few posts published on this site over the holiday period and point towards some other activities worth checking out in the next few months.


We are planning to run a workshop in Brandon in late February on the IBA Program, a look at some of the local IBAs and using eBird. This will be a very informal event. If you are interested in coming please email Tim at If there is interest in putting something similar on in other places (Winnipeg, Gimli, southern Manitoba) please also get in contact. The events page has recently been updated and there are some interesting workshops being put on by Nature Manitoba including one on shorebird identification and one on electronic birding. Check out the events page for more details.

New Years Resolution

Nature Manitoba asked us for a New Years Resolution and it is included with some other environmental organisations in a piece on their website. It was also picked up by CBC.

Quick Review of 2016 (and 2015)

We thought it would be interesting to look back at some of the monitoring data for the past couple of years using the tables on the IBA Canada site to show where data collected by volunteers has triggered an IBA threshold. You can see more on our end of season blogpost.

Looking Ahead

The second half of the review blog was a piece looking at some of the species in our IBAs for which it might be worth thinking about targeted monitoring. You can check it out here. 


Tundra Swan, a species which congregates in large numbers in spring and fall migration in Manitoba’s IBAs and therefore a possible target species for IBA monitoring at for example Whitewater, Oak Lake, Saskatchewan River Delta and Delta Marsh. Photo copyright Christian Artuso

We are going to start thinking ahead fairly soon to where we would like to carry out events in 2017. I am keen to spread out from the traditional sites we have previously covered but also think more strategically. For example, is it possible to do goose counts in fall of birds leaving their roosts at Netley-Libau or Big Grass Marsh if we have enough volunteers stationed around the perimeter? Is there areas of Sandy Bay Marshes where we can access with a group to monitor birds? Can we get more people into some of the northern or lake IBAs? If you have any thoughts or ideas, please let us know – we are open to suggestions. Finally we will plan to do some IBA profiles and species profiles highlighting some of the IBAs and the priorities for monitoring. We are generating some terrific data in some IBAs thanks to the efforts of our army of volunteers but maybe in others there is more to be done.