The Beaverhill Bird Observatory’s Geoff Holroyd Young Ornithologists’ Workshop is a week-long natural history camp that provides teenagers interested in birds with a practical, working knowledge and aesthetic appreciation of birds and their conservation. The Workshop will run from Sunday, August 5th to Saturday, August 11th, 2018. Up to 10 participants, aged 15-18 years old, will be selected. They will be provided with the opportunity to learn bird banding and identification skills from experienced ornithologists at our field research station east of Tofield, Alberta. While applicants do not have to be top-notch birders, they have to share a keen interest in birds and conservation. The BBO will cover all direct costs of the workshop including food, travel for field trips, and professional instruction, but recipients are responsible for their transportation to and from the banding station, tents and sleeping bags. Tents are available for loan if applicants cannot bring their own.
Participants will be immersed in the daily, hands on work of field ornithology while they learn about the BBO’s migration monitoring program and MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) sites and participate in the running of a banding lab. They will improve their bird identification while being trained in the skills and art of handling and banding birds, aging and sexing techniques, bird behaviour and the life histories and conservation concerns of species. The students will also learn about bats, butterflies and other wildlife. The students will be tenting and sharing camp duties, another necessary skill for a field biologist. Field trips to surrounding areas and talks by experts on natural history topics will be offered in the afternoons and evenings.
Geoff Holroyd is the current Chair of the BBO and a co-founder of the BBO, the oldest banding station in Alberta and second oldest in Canada. Geoff relates how times spent as a youth at Long Point Bird Observatory were instrumental in developing his birding skills and commitment to working with birds as a career. It is the goal of the BBO to continue in this tradition and offer interested youth the opportunity to advance their birding skills while learning about birds in a field situation. The workshop will provide a hands-on experience into the world of migrating birds and share with others who are passionate about monitoring, studying and conserving birds and their habitat.
2016 Beaverhill Bird Observatory’s Young Ornithologist Workshop group: Dr. Geoff Holroyd (Chair Beaverhill Bird Observatory), Larry Zhong, Robin Moore, Myles Grieve, Luke Nelson, Charlotte Wasylik, Carson Hvenegaard, Stephanie Olson, Jeremy Lambe, and banders Kevin Methuen and Emily Cicon, and Helen Trefry (BBO Board Member and workshop organizer). In front is Jackie, camp mascot.