Helping Birds in the City

Toronto and Region Conservation is a partner with the Fatal Light Awareness Program in the Lights Out Toronto campaign. This spring, TTPBRS will be offering opportunities for FLAP volunteers to learn bird ID and safe bird handling techniques. More details are provided below. The FLAP organization does an incredible job in the rescue of migratory birds and in raising awareness of avian mortality due to collisions with urban structures. Please consider lending a helping hand to this important initiative!

2008 Spring Bird Migration Calendar

Bird Rescue Training Workshop

At this general orientation workshop, you will learn the basics of bird collisions with buildings, bird rescue
including bird handling & identification, assessment of bird injuries & rehabilitation.

Saturday, April 12, 2008
9:30 a.m. to noon
City Hall (100 Queen St. West., at Bay), Committee Room # 4
Please call or email the FLAP office to RSVP.

Black-throated Green Warbler Photo: Carol L. Edwards

Bird Handling / Identification Workshops

Date: Sunday, April 27 or Saturday, May 3, 2008
Time: 6:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.
Where to meet: If you need a ride, at the northwest corner of Bay and Front (at the Royal Bank building) or,
if you are driving, at the gate to Tommy Thompson Park.
Place of workshop: Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station on the Leslie Street Spit
Bring: Clothes for outside weather, sturdy footwear, snack and drink, binoculars and bird guide (if you have them)
Contact: Lori Nichols at with the date you are interested in and all your contact information.
Please let Lori know if you are driving or will need a ride.

* * * Please sign up soon as space is limited. * * *

Description of the day:

For this workshop, participants will learn how to safely handle live, healthy birds trapped through the banding operation at
Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station on the Leslie Street Spit. It will also be a chance to hone identification skills.

We will leave from the corner of Bay and Front at 6:00 am (so be there by 6:00!) and drive to the free parking at the foot
of Leslie street. We will have a 30 minute walk to the station and stay until around 11:30. We will be outside all day,
so dress for the weather. It can be quite windy on the spit.

If you are driving and can take a few people from the meeting place to the Spit, please let me know, as there is
limited transportation provided.

The Yonge Street bus and the Bloor-Danforth bus run 24 hours.

Monday April 7, 2008 Launch of Lights Out Toronto!
For more info, visit Lights Out Toronto! at:

Saturday, May 10 International Migratory Bird Day
Event to be announced.


Spring Owl Migration

Northern Saw-whet Owls have begun their northward migration to northern forests this year. The thick pack of ice and snow at Tommy Thompson Park has made travel difficult for anyone on foot. However we soldiered out to TTPBRS late last week to do some owling and were rewarded with a particularly heavy male Northern Saw-whet (fat score of 6 on a scale of 0-7!). Barred Owl and Great Horned Owl were also encountered (but not captured) during the evening. Net checking was an adventure with the uneven and slippery terrain but it should melt away soon....

The Spring Migration Monitoring Program is less than 3 weeks away now and I suspect that I can speak for the entire TTPBRS crew in saying that the change from indoor to outdoor living will be appreciated!

Recovery Alert

One of our Northern Saw-whet Owls banded in late October, 2007 was recently found dead somewhere on the University of Toronto campus in February, 2008. This recovery is the first record of one of "our" owls overwintering in Toronto. It is also interesting that one of these owls would move to the interior of the city from the lake shore. A telemetry study of owl dispersal in Toronto would be a fascinating study.