Posted | filed under Weekly Reports.

After all the snow, rain, and generally cold weather this last week, not much has been recorded moving through the station and even less has been caught as the nets were mostly frozen shut. The wind has pushed the lake ice against the shore, closing off what little open water we had and severely limiting our waterfowl counts. Even so, we continue to see newly arriving species daily as more tundra breeders move through and some of our local breeders trickle in.

We are hoping to be through the worst of any poor weather this spring has to throw at us – especially since next week is our biggest annual fundraiser, the Great Canadian Birdathon. This is a big event for bird conservation and education organizations nationwide as teams try to see as many species as they can in a given day. Donations to our teams predominantly go to the LSLBO, but a portion is shared to Birds Canada for bigger picture initiatives.

Above: Richard and Nicole Krikun of Birders in the Park participating in 2021’s Birdathon.

Two teams will be competing with eachother for the Birdathon this year with donations going to the LSLBO – Team Birders in the Park around the Edmonton area and Team Tanager around Slave Lake area. Birders in the Park is made up of our retired banders, Richard  and Nicole Krikun who look forward to Birdathon with the same enthusiasm most people reserve for Christmas.

Above: Nola Sheets (left) and Robyn Perkins (right) banding a Slate-coloured Junco. These two are half of 2022’s Team Tanager.

Team Tanager is made up of our field crew and long-time LSLBO member, Wayne Bowles. Wayne started Birdathon as part of Team Thrasher in 2014. This team scoured southern Alberta, but is unable to participate this year. Wayne is excited to see some species he might not see every day and get some more identification tips from our field crew. Our Bander-in-charge again this year is Robyn Perkins. Robyn has worked with the LSLBO since 2016 and is excited to bird in some different habitats for Birdathon. Our assistant bander is Bronwyn Robinson, who has been with us since 2019. Brownyn’s favourite part of Birdathon is going off the beaten path to see some duck species that prefer the smaller ponds in the area and are hard to find on the shores of the lake. New to the team this year is our field assistant, Nola Sheets. Nola hails from Lethbridge and got into birding while volunteering in the Seychelles and falling in love with an endemic species there. This is her first Birdaton and she is excited to get a backroad tour of the Slave Lake area.

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