Holiday 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!
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. Here is a PDF identification chart to help along the way to learning this new skill.
Join us for this year’s Festival of Hawks on the weekends of September 14/15 & 21/22 at Holiday Beach Conservation Area. The festival runs from 9am to 3pm each day. A variety of activities will take place throughout the festival weekends.
Visit the Essex Region Conservation Authority to see the schedule of events for the 2019 Festival of Hawks. The festival has moved to the main picnic area at Holiday Beach this year due to high water levels in the vicinity of the hawk tower
Educational programs will compliment the ongoing bird banding and live hawk display throughout both weekends. Local experts will be on-site to teach on a wide range of birding and nature-related topics. These programs include:
- HBMO’s Bob Pettit will share his years of experience on identifying hawks in flights.
- Ted Kloske, of Henry’s Windsor, and Alex Denonville will help budding photographers get their best nature shot.
- Learn about the mystery of the iconic monarch butterfly with Gina Pannunzio of ERCA, and Paul Desjardins of Essex County Nature.
- HBMO’s Jeremy Hatt will share his tips and tricks on using mobile applications like iNaturalist
- learn the Who’s Who of Native Plants by Vic Bernyk, Native Trees and Plants
Programs are free with the park’s admission fee of $15 per vehicle.
Learn 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.
Experience the beauty of Holiday Beach and get a bird’s-eye view of the Hawk Tower thanks to DroneFlyTours.com! Part 1 of 2.
Holiday Beach Migration Observatory hawk count surpassed 3,000,000 in 2014!
HBMO is headquartered at the Holiday Beach Conservation Area (HBCA)
in the Big Creek Marsh watershed. This internationally recognized
Important Bird Area, IBA ON034, is owned and operated by Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA).
The Holiday Beach Migration Observatory (HBMO) is a volunteer, non-profit membership organization formed in 1986 to promote the study and protection of migrating birds.
Through research and education programs and undertaking various projects, HBMO strives to contribute to the greater understanding of migration and conservation of birds and insects and their habitats. Holiday Beach is ranked as the top hawk watching site in Canada by Audubon Magazine, and the third best in all of North America.
Holiday Beach Migration Observatory is proud to announce that the new milestone was reached last Thursday, September 25/2014. This is our 41st year of counting and record keeping from the 1st of September through to the end of November.
Thanks to our volunteers and public support we will continue our work for many more years to come.
Recently Paul Nicholson (Special to QMI Agency) interviewed our own President, Bob Pettit, to learn more about HBMO for an article he was writing for the London Free Press. You can read the fantastic article here – The World Outdoors: Programs highlight raptor migration.
We look forward to your visit Paul!
HBMO 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.
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!
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.