LogoHoliday Beach Migration Observatory (HBMO) is a Registered Charitable volunteer organization dedicated to the study and monitoring of migratory birds.  Activities focus on migration of raptors (diurnal birds of prey), passerines (songbirds) and other species passing through southwestern Ontario in the vicinity of Holiday Beach Conservation Area.  Learn more!

Festival of Hawks 2014 – Full Schedule of Events

Hawk Fest 2014Join us for the 2014 Festival of Hawks!

September 13 & 14
September 20 & 21

Live raptor shows, banding demonstrations, free workshops and hikes. Bird identification, adopt-a-hawk programs, nature crafts and activities. Learn about the spectacular migration at Holiday Beach, ranked as the top hawk watching site in Canada by Audubon Magazine, and the third best in all of North America.

To download the full schedule of events, click here.

A Great Event to Complement the 2014 Festival of Hawks

An Evening with Joel Greenberg – Passenger Pigeon

Joel GreenbergOn Thursday, September 18 at 6:30pm, the Essex Region Conservation Authority presents An Evening with Joel Greenberg, author of A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction. This book has been called “a parable for our time” by Dr. David Suzuki. Mr. Greenberg has been a leader in Project Passenger Pigeon to commemorate the anniversary of the species’ extinction. The Passenger Pigeon was unlike any other bird. It probably numbered in the billions, making it the most abundant bird in North America, and possibly the world. In September, 1914 – exactly 100 years ago, the last of the species died, marking the extinction of this unique bird.

A delicious selection of h’or doerves will be served, as well as a complimentary glass of wine for guests of age, and a cash wine bar. Mr. Greenberg’s talk will highlight the life and legacy of the Passenger Pigeon, and relate it to modern day conservation efforts. Mr. Greenberg’s book will be available for purchase at the event. There will also be an opportunity for book signing by the author. A limited number of tickets at just $40 per person are available but must be purchased in advance at http://www.eventbrite.ca/e/an-evening-with-joel-greenberg-tickets-11583310995?aff=eorg

HBMO & The Canadian Snow Bunting Network

Snow-Bunting-toesHBMO banders represent a key SW Ontario banding node of the Canadian Snow Bunting Network (CSBN). The CSBN is administered by Dr. Oliver Love’s lab at the University of Windsor and represents a network of over 200 citizen, academic and government scientists working together to determine the health and demographics of wintering Canadian Snow Bunting populations. This Arctic-breeding species is in steep decline in North America and yet nothing is known regarding the reasons behind the population variability. Winter monitoring of this iconic Canadian species currently represents the best way to understand the dynamics of multiple populations and volunteer banders play a key and pivotal role in this conservation effort.

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Snow Bunting Banding – Winter 2013-14 Slideshow

SNBU Bird #100

Check out some pictures from this winter’s Snow Bunting Banding at our Harrow, Ontario Banding Station. It’s been a fantastic season so far. Click here to view the slideshow! (Tip – click on “Show info” to display more info about the pictures)

There were a few bonus birds banded as well so keep an eye out for those pictures in the slideshow!




Snowy Owls – Dispelling The Starvation Myth

This information has been gathered from the following experts and others mentioned in the text;

  • Norman Smith started studying Snowy Owls more than 30 years ago.
  • Tom McDonald from Rochester NY has been banding Snowy owls for 25 years.
  • Denver Holt studies Snowy Owls on their breeding grounds in Barrows, Alaska.

Scott Weidensaul has been studying owls for many years and is one of the key researchers involved with Project Snowstorm http://www.projectsnowstorm.org/ . Visit this page to access some excellent information. Some text below is directly quoted from Scott.

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Eastern Hawk ID Program – New Downloads

DSC_0054Learn to identify hawks in flight during with the Eastern Hawk ID Program. Identifying a hawk in flight is different than characterizing a perched bird. With practice, patience, and long hours of observation the skills of flight identification can be learned.

To learn more and to download the updated presentation in PowerPoint, Keynote, and PDF formats, click here.

2013 Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Banding

rubyHBMO’s certified hummingbird bander, Bob Hall-Brooks, has provided a summary of the banding results for the 2013 season.


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