Tag Archive | citizen science

Bio-Blitz: Volunteers Needed

If you’re free this Friday, September 23, you couldn’t find a better way to spend the day than to help Andrew Stiles of the Nature Conservancy of Canada conduct a bio-blitz in the Bragg Creek area.  A bio-blitz is an intense biological survey that attempts to record all the species of flora and fauna in a designated area.  Naturalists and volunteers will try to identify all the birds, animals, insects, and plants on the Connop Estate.  Volunteers are needed to help with this, and no particular experience is needed.  It’s enough to be able to point out a bird or mammal, or a plant species that hasn’t yet been recorded.

The last time the area was studied, many raptors were observed, as well as Elk and wild horses.

Typical forest scene in the Bragg Creek area – in this case, in Brown-Lowery Provincial Park, not at the Connop Estate.

How many species?

If you’d like to take part, or to get more information, please call Gus Yaki at 403-243-2248.  The group will carpool from the south side of the Canadian Tire parking lot on Richmond Road SW in Calgary (just east of  Sarcee Trail) at 8am, or meet at the Cinnamon Spoon, at the south end of the shopping centre in Bragg Creek at 8:30am, on Friday, 23 September 2011.  But please call Gus first so he knows who to expect, and in case there is a change of plans due to rain.

Bring suitable clothing for the season, as well as a lunch and drinks.

American Three-toed Woodpecker in the Bragg Creek area.

Posted by Bob Lefebvre

Help Us With the May Species Count!

The May Species Count is an event held on the last weekend of May each year, in which birders try to find every species of bird in the Calgary area.  Over the two-day period, teams or individuals scour their assigned areas to identify every bird species they see and hear, and also note the total numbers of each species.  This year the count will be on May 28 and 29.

How many Mallards?

The area covered is huge – a circle 160 kilometres in diameter centred on the Centre Street bridge in Calgary.  Organizers have broken the count circle into many smaller territories, and assigned volunteers to each area.  We need a lot of birders to cover all this territory!

          The Count Circle.  The numbers indicate the territories to which birders or teams of birders are assigned.  Click on the map to enlarge it.

There are still some territories that are not covered, so if you want to contribute to a very worthwhile citizen science project, contact the co-ordinator:

Terry Poulton  –  May Species Count, May 28-29, 2011

phone    403-274-7393        email    tpoulton@yahoo.com

Everyone is invited to participate, whether beginner or seasoned pro.  You can do a whole day, a half day, or both days.  Terry will try to assign you to an interesting route, and try to match new-comers with experienced birders, and drivers with riders.  There are a wide variety of environments, from urban to prairie to foothills habitats. Most years, more than 200 bird species are seen in total within the circle.

This is a great opportunity to get involved in Calgary and area birding, and to see as many as one hundred species of birds in a single day.  If you can identify most birds you see, you can survey an area yourself.  If you are a new birder, you will be assigned to a team with other experienced birders where you can help to spot and count birds, and learn about the process.

If you are at all interested in this, please contact Terry to get more information.  It’s one of the funnest birding experiences of the year, at the birdiest time of the year!

Posted by Bob Lefebvre