Nature Manitoba’s New Avian Stewardship Program Assistant

Lynnea Parker Poster PPARFM

Lynnea Parker presenting her research poster, 2016

My name is Lynnea Parker and I am very thrilled to be joining Nature Manitoba for the next year as a full-time internship student. This intern position was made possible through co-funding provided by EcoCanada and Nature Manitoba. I will be working directly with the Manitoba’s Breeding Bird Atlas, Nocturnal Owl Survey, Important Bird Areas (IBA) program and the Chimney Swift Initiative.

I moved to Winnipeg from Nanaimo, BC in the fall of 2015 to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Manitoba. My thesis is on bear smart messaging and black bear conflicts near Riding Mountain National Park. This project was a perfect fit for me, as I have always held a passion for understanding human-wildlife interactions and finding non-lethal ways to reduce conflict. I plan to defend my thesis and graduate this summer.

Aside from my educational goals, I have held an interest in birding since 2013 when I received my first field job as a Grassland Songbird Research Technician in Brooks, AB. This is the same project that was the focus of ex-IBA Summer Assistant, Patricia Rosa’s PhD. I learned how to identify grassland songbirds and conduct various bird and plant survey methods for the first time. Since that summer, birding has become a dedicated hobby. The wonderful bird diversity and variety of conservation-oriented initiatives in Manitoba have prompted me to stay in the province after the completion of my master’s degree.

Left: Chestnut-collared Longspur chicks, Right Upper: Long-billed Curlew, Right Middle: Marbled Godwit, Right Lower: Prairie Rattlesnake. Photos by Lynnea Parker.

Riding Mountain National Park was a fantastic setting to conduct research and go bird watching. A little known, but highly diverse IBA is located at Proven Lake, just 20 minutes south of Wasagaming. It was at this IBA I encountered my first Great Gray Owl at dusk. Other highlights of this IBA included being startled by a Short-eared Owl in the spooky black spruce bog, watching Bobolink glide across open fields, and stumbling across many nests alongside the 1.5 km trail.

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Great Gray Owl at dusk, Proven Lake IBA, Photo by Lynnea Parker