Fall migration monitoring has officially begun! The warblers are beginning to move past the station including Tennessee Warblers, Yellow Warblers, and Myrtle Warblers. We are also observing many juvenile birds getting ready to depart the boreal forest plus 200 Tree Sparrows were spotted migrating overhead after the heavy rain last week. Although it seems like the songbirds have just arrived, it is already time for them to start heading south to their wintering grounds.
But these avian monitoring programs aren’t the only thing happening at the Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory (LSLBO) this summer. Our education team is very busy with summer camps, family programs, bird observatory tours, special events and visitors at the Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation. Each year, the LSLBO education team delivers an amazing array of year-round education programs to thousands of visitors of all ages. How can we deliver so many program to so many people? Partnerships! The LSLBO shares staff and resources with our key education partners: the Lesser Slave Forest Education Society and Alberta Parks. Many hands make light work and by working closely with these partners as well as other organizations such as the Lesser Slave Watershed Council, we can all accomplish a lot! It also means that every day is different and exciting for our staff. So meet the education team that does such a great job sharing what we do with the public.
Good things do come in small packages! Danika Wack is our full-time educator and she is kept very busy delivering programs for both the LSLBO and the Lesser Slave Forest Education Society. A graduate of the University of Alberta Conservation Biology program, she has the special ability to share her love of boreal forest ecology with audiences of any age.
Fisher Stephenson is our new interpreter this summer. Enrolled in the Ecotourism and Outdoor Leadership program at Mount Royal University, Fisher is an avid birder who loves exploring the boreal forest for a new bird species or just a new adventure. With his wealth of birding knowledge, he has been a great addition to our education team.
Walk into the Boreal Centre this summer and you will be greeted by Saige Burnett’s friendly smile. A local Slave Lake resident, she has just completed her first year of her BSc in Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta. Whether it is answering questions, running the gift shop, or helping with our programs, Saige is doing an awesome job.
Rounding out the education team are Alberta Parks interpreters Trinity Wilton and Claire Phillips who are delivering exciting new interpretive programs in the campgrounds this summer plus Braidi Locke with WildBoreal Environmental Educators who helps us out on busy program days.
Thank you to our educators and partners who help to make our programs so great. If you want to know more about programs at the Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory, check out lslbo.org or call us at 780-849-8240.
By Patti Campsall, Executive Director