Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the BBO is not accepting volunteers at this time and we will not be banding birds until further notice. We ask that visitors respectively stay outside of our buildings, as we are happy to talk and visit with you in the great outdoors!

Young Ornithologist Workshop

The Beaverhill Bird Observatory’s Geoff Holroyd Young Ornithologists’ Workshop is a FREE week-long natural history camp that provides teenagers interested in birds with a practical, working knowledge and aesthetic appreciation of birds and their conservation. The Workshop will run from Saturday, August 1st to Friday, August 7th, 2020 and students can earn up to 8 high school credits through a combination of this work experience and wildlife Career Technology Studies (applicable to all Alberta students).

Up to 10 participants, aged 15-18 years old, will be selected. They will be provided with the opportunity to learn bird banding and identification skills from experienced ornithologists at our field research station east of Tofield, Alberta. Applicants do not have to be top-notch birders, but they should have an interest in nature, birds and conservation.

The BBO will cover all direct costs of the workshop including food, travel for field trips, and professional instruction. Recipients are responsible for their transportation to and from the banding station, tents and sleeping bags. Tents are available for loan if applicants cannot bring their own.

Participants will be immersed in the daily, hands on work of field ornithology while they learn about the BBO’s migration monitoring program, MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) sites and participate in the running of a bird banding lab.

They will improve their bird identification while being trained in the skills and art of handling and banding birds, aging and sexing techniques, bird behaviour and the life histories and conservation concerns of species. The students will also learn about bats, butterflies and other wildlife.

The students will be tenting and sharing camp duties, another necessary skill for a field biologist. Field trips to surrounding areas and talks by experts on natural history topics will be offered in the afternoons and evenings.

Geoff Holroyd is the current Chair of the BBO and a co-founder of the BBO, the oldest banding station in Alberta and second oldest in Canada. Geoff relates how times spent as a youth at Long Point Bird Observatory were instrumental in developing his birding skills and commitment to working with birds as a career.

It is the goal of the BBO to continue in this tradition and offer interested youth the opportunity to advance their birding skills while learning about birds in a field situation.

The workshop will provide a hands-on experience into the world of migrating birds and share with others who are passionate about monitoring, studying and conserving birds and their habitat.

How to Apply

Application deadline is June 30th, 2020

Applications will be chosen by a committee, and notified shortly after this date.