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 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


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