It's up and running - get involved!
In May 2010, an ambitious “citizen-science” initiative began to unfold in Manitoba. Citizen science is engaging volunteers in scientifically rigorous, well-designed surveys and monitoring efforts - an opportunity for individuals and communities to get involved in protecting their environment.
The Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas will document the distribution and abundance of all species that breed in Manitoba over a five-year period. This is done by asking volunteers to document breeding activity such as territorial song, nest-building and adults carrying food in 10 km x 10 km grid squares. Skilled observers will also conduct point-counts, recording the number of birds singing from a fixed location. The data collected will be updated annually on our web page (www.birdatlas.mb.ca, currently under construction) in the form of interactive maps and other special features. The final data set after five years will be analyzed and presented in various formats including bilingual printed editions.
The Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas is a partnership of many government and non-government organizations. Currently the Steering Committee consists of Environment Canada, Manitoba Conservation, Birds Studies Canada, Nature Manitoba and the Manitoba Museum but many other organizations are already involved in bringing this exciting project to our province.
The Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas is currently looking for volunteers to participate in their region (see map). Every person with basic bird identification skills can participate, and workshops will be offered in atlassing techniques early next year. We also need people with varied skill sets to assist us in promoting the atlas, volunteer coordination and other aspects.
For more information contact:
Christian Artuso, Ph.D.
Bird Studies Canada - Manitoba Program Manager
Box 24-200 Saulteaux Cr, Winnipeg, MB R3J 3W3
Visit the website of: Bird Studies Canada
And if that's not enough birding for you find out about the Prairies and Parklands Marsh Monitoring Program.