We are Hiring for a Summer Student

We are looking for a summer student for this summer, funded via the Province of Manitoba Green Team Program. Here are the details.

Manitoba Important Bird Areas Program Assistant

The Manitoba Important Bird Area (IBA) Program is hiring a Program Assistant. This position is based out of Winnipeg and includes travel to various IBAs in southern Manitoba. The position is a 300-hour part-time contract at $13-$15/hr depending on experience – start date May 2019.


Working closely with the IBA Coordinator, the responsibilities of the Program Assistant are to:

  • monitor the endangered Chimney Swift in urban areas of Manitoba, especially Winnipeg;
  • monitor populations of threatened birds in Manitoba’s IBAs;
  • assist with bird monitoring blitzes in Manitoba’s IBAs;
  • assist with organising events and activities for the Manitoba IBA Program;
  • provide outreach to landowners with the federally threatened Chimney Swift;
  • research and develop educational materials for landowners and the general public to promote Manitoba’s IBAs;
  • represent the IBA Program at meetings, local events and festivals in southern and central Manitoba;
  • assist with Manitoba IBA blog site and social media set-up;
  • assist with volunteer and partner communications via email and phone;
  • other duties as assigned.


The successful applicant will have:

  • A minimum of 2 years of post-secondary education in biology, conservation or environmental science degree / diploma program
  • Knowledge of and demonstrated interest in the natural history of Manitoba
  • A keen interest in, knowledge of and ability to identify birds in Manitoba
  • Previous experience in environmental education and outreach is a strong asset
  • Experience with & knowledge of WordPress, Facebook and the Microsoft Office suite
  • Exceptional written and interpersonal communication skills
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to work well as a team and independently

Interested in applying?

Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the position:

  • youth aged 15 to 29,
  • living in Manitoba, and
  • legally entitled to work in Canada.

How to Apply:

Interested applicants should forward their resume and short 1 page cover letter as 1 PDF file by email to the IBA Coordinator at iba@naturemanitoba.ca (Subject line: IBA Program Assistant) by May 10th, 2019.

Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

May Event Announcements – Shoal Lakes, Oak Hammock Marsh and Brandon Shorebirds

North, West and East Shoal Lakes IBA

May 4th, from 8am

we are looking for 3-4 groups to complete a count of the North, West and East Shoal Lakes IBA between Inwood and Woodlands on the 4th May. our target birds will include waterbirds and early migrating shorebirds. Please email iba@naturemanitoba.ca for more information.


International Migratory Bird Day, Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre

Date: May 11, 2019
Time: 8:00 am  to  4:30 pm

Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day at Oak Hammock Marsh, one of the best birding areas in Manitoba. This will include:

  • Shorebird Survey Walk – 8 to 10 a.m.– Join birding experts Christian Artuso and Tim Poole from Manitoba’s Important Bird Area Program for a two hour shorebird Survey Walk. Pre-registration is required. Cost is $6 person.
  • Special presentation – 11:00 a.m. – Christian Artuso will talk about the lessons learned with the Manitoba Breeding Birds Atlas.

Click on this link for more details.

Shorebird Workshop, Brandon Birders Group

May 17 and 18

We are planning a shorebird workshop in the evening of May 17th and the daytime of May 18th with members of the new Brandon Birders Group. On the 18th it is likely that we will be slowly working through an International Shorebird Survey (ISS) route at Whitewater Lake with anyone interested in learning about this amazing group of birds. More details will follow, but if you are interested in finding out more, please email at iba@naturemanitoba.ca.


Monitoring for Species At Risk in Southwestern Manitoba -Final SARPAL Report

In June 2018, Christian Artuso and Lynnea Parker continued efforts to monitor for Species At Risk on grazed grasslands in southwestern Manitoba. This was a continuation of monitoring delivered by the program in 2017 (please see New Report – Summary of Grassland Bird Monitoring in Southwestern Manitoba in 2017). Our monitoring supported the Keep Grazing program for Species At Risk, part of Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Species At Risk Partnerships on Agricultural Land (SARPAL) initiative.

Lynnea wrote a brief summary for the website during summer of 2019 – Surveying for Grassland Species At Risk in the Southwestern MB Mixed-Grass Prairie, and Oak Lake and Plum Lakes IBAs.

We have  uploaded a summary report of the second year of monitoring. In total, over two years, 62 properties were monitored for Species At Risk. We also managed a further 9 repeat property surveys in 2018 from those monitored in 2017. This resulted in an impressive 679 individual point counts over two years.

13 different species were detected on these cattle pastures. Some of these species, Olive-sided Flycatcher for example, were on passage. A few were woodland species. One, the Red-headed Woodpecker, is a woodland species which strongly associates with cattle grazing. Five of those species are known as obligate grassland Species At Rsik (Loggerhead Shrike, Ferruginous Hawk, Chestnut-collared Longspur and Baird’s Sparrow). All five were detected on pastures across the target area, with 1.1 species being detected per property. This equated to 5.8 individual birds per property. Of these, Sprague’s Pipit were detected on more properties, although the Chestnut-collared Longspur appeared more abundant.

Sprague's Pipit_3112_Artuso

Sprague’s Pipit was detected on 40% of all properties. Copyright Christian Artuso

We hope that this program will continue in the future, and we have other plans in the pipeline to take this work forward. Grassland birds remain under threat in Manitoba. They rely on active cattle grazing of grasslands for their survival, and we will continue to work to partners to help these birds to thrive in the future in Manitoba’s southwest.

Thank you to all our partners, to our funders, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and not least to the many cattle producers who have given us permission to monitor the birds on their land.

Finally, to download and read the report, please click on the link below.

Final SARPAL Summary Report from 2017 and 2018

April eBird Contest, the Results from our March Contest and Some New Outreach Materials

Congratulations to Glennis Lewis and Louanne Reid, our March contest winners. Their checklist from the Oak Lake and Plum Lakes IBA was selected at random from an Excel spreadsheet. We had nearly 30 entries in March, and will expect a fair few more for our April contest.

We have another contest in April. All eligible checklists will again need to be entered under the IBA Protocol. Just to spice it up, we decided to add the stipulation that the eligible checklist needs to contain at least one goose or swan. April is the month when we can start to expect to see large numbers of waterfowl and other wetland birds gather as the ice cracks on lakes rivers across Manitoba.

To enter, all you need to do is share your eBird checklist with the account ‘ManitobaIBA’ or iba@naturemanitoba.ca and make sure you use the IBA Protocol (here is a reminder of the protocol).

For anyone not on eBird, you can still enter by adding information to our online reporting form.

Please note that we have one gas card per month, and each individual checklist will be entered as a single entry.

April IBA Contest


We have also just published a series of 15 new IBA cards, including ones for Riverton Sandy Bar, Whitewater Lake, Netley-Libau Marsh and our new IBA at Ellice-Archie and Spy Hill-Ellice. Each card includes suggested totals of birds that members of the the public could report to the program (you can now use our new reporting page to do this). These great resources would be perfect for birders, producers, wildlife enthusiasts, or hikers, sailors, or indeed anyone living and working in areas around local IBAs. For the full list of cards, and links,, check out the page on our website.

If you would like to receive one, or even a number of these cards, please email Tim Poole at iba@naturemanitoba.ca, or call the Nature Manitoba office at (204) 943-9029.

To give you an idea of what the cards look like, here is the card for Ellice-Archie and Spy Hill-Ellice IBA.

Ellice-Archie V4-1Ellice-Archie V4-2

With spring upon us, we will begin to plan ahead with an early spring event soon. Watch this space!