The migration of a banding coordinator

Brett Tryon with Tree Swallow 

After 6 seasons at TTPBRS, this little bird has decided to spread her wings. It has been a rewarding three years and an experience I will never forget. To hold a wild bird in one’s hand is a privilege, and something that most people will never experience in a lifetime. To do it every day for a living is almost unheard of.  I take with me some incredible memories: the first-record Worm-eating Warbler that I banded, the Baltimore Oriole that sang in my hand, the Northern Shrike that pierced my finger with its razor sharp bill, and the rare Whip-poor-will whose softness took my breath away. These are just some highlights - every bird is special and every day has been a learning experience.

I have been fortunate to work outdoors in Toronto’s urban wilderness, a side to the city that many people have yet to explore. By achieving the unthinkable feat of getting up hours before dawn, I have been able to experience wonders of nature that only occur in those final moments of darkness. I have watched the full moon setting over the sleeping city; I have seen the sun rise over the misty lake; and I have listened to the dawn chorus as hundreds of birds awaken the world with song. 

What I will miss most is the TTPBRS family – the volunteers that have made my job possible. Although life pulls people in different directions, many of the volunteers have returned season after season. Their dedication and enthusiasm constantly inspires me. It takes a unique individual to get up so early and dedicate a full day of their time without pay, simply out of passion and good will.  With only one paid staff member, the volunteers are the backbone of this program. They have been so fun to work with and have taught me so much. I want to thank all of the following volunteers who I have worked with throughout the years:

Stephen Campbell
Theresa Carlin
Andrea Chreston
Lisa Chou
Antonio Coral
John Crawford
Bronwyn Dalziel
Marc Dupuis Desormeaux
Charlotte England
Mark Field
Tom Flinn
Attila Fust
Andrea Geboers
Stephanie Hung
Andrew Jano
Don Johnston
Andreas Jonsson
Bindu Kaimal
Bob Kortright
Laura Arnot Kucey
Priscilla Lai
Jan McDonald
Larry Menard
Theresa McKenzie
Lisa Myslicki
Denise Potter
Paul Prior
Elisabeth Purves
Whitney Pyper
Glenn Reed
Maya Ricker-Wilson
Emily Rondel
Sachiko Schott
Josh Shook
Zak Smith
Zoe Southcott
Ian Sturdee
Dell Tune
Bert Vanderzon
Paul Xamin
Juan Zuloaga

The search is on for a new Coordinator, so if you are interested in applying, please visit

Good Birding!