Greetings from Pelee Island!
We've been keeping busy this spring and summer and want to share some updates and thank you as always for your generous support!

From the field

Alessandra Wilcox extracting a Common Grackle from a mist net. Photo by Chloë Chang
We wanted to take a moment to highlight a personal reflection from our Assistant Bander Alessandra Wilcox, who joined our team during the spring migration, on monitoring the Purple Martin, a species whose numbers have nearly halved in Ontario since the 1970s:
I am incredibly grateful for my time on Pelee Island, and I am especially grateful for the people I’ve been introduced to who have all helped me become a better, more rounded individual. From the beginning, I was welcomed to the island like I was a long-lost friend. It was my first time visiting Pelee Island, and I had only heard tales about all this island has to offer: from the famous banding station to the unique fauna and flora, booming migration, and of course, the wonderful island community. My expectations for my experiences this season were understandably high, but I could never have anticipated such frequent and personal encounters with unique wildlife, or how many lasting friendships I’ve created during this time. Working here has unveiled a whole new world to birding, one that is more so focused on the intricacy and beauty of the morphology, behaviour, and trends of birds, rather than face-value numbers and facts.

It was an immense privilege to be involved with the bird banding migration monitoring program and the species at risk assessments. It’s so hard to describe the mixed feelings of joy and curiosity that is paired with observing the entire life cycle of such fascinating creatures; from the excitement of the first observation of the season, to watching a whole generation grow, take flight, and begin their own life journey. For this reason, monitoring the Purple Martin colony has been one of the highlights of this period. Frequently observing such intimate behaviour and detail of the life cycle of such an incredible species is an experience that I will never forget. Monitoring the Purple Martins has given me a new perspective on the dedication and hardships that breeding birds must undertake in order to survive. It is both beautiful, and important work that is crucial to further Purple Martin conservation, given such concerning decline over the last decade. With this opportunity, I was able to catch a glimpse of the complex life of birds that is almost always hidden or out of reach.

PIBO in the news! 

Alessandra also had the opportunity to chat with the CBC about this experience, as well as the declining numbers seen during this year's spring migration. Check out 'Pelee Island's bird banding season sees unusual dip, but expert says no need to 'raise alarms' yet' to learn more about this past banding season. 

A special thank you!

We'd love to take a moment to give a huge thank you to each and every one of you, who showed your support in June. Each and every dollar donated in June was another entry into the Great Canadian Giving Challenge prize, and while we weren't the lucky winners this year, we know that each penny raised will go to supporting birds and wildlife through research and education. We're truly thankful! If you'd like to support PIBO's work through a monthly donation, or make a one time donation in someone's honour, you can do so at our Canada's Help page below. 
I'm ready to support PIBO monthly
I'd like to make a one-time donation in honour of a loved one

Bird Friendly Windsor

Check out this amazing bird friendly window design! This design by the Ezwawi family won our window design contest in July, celebrating how bird friendly windows can also be beautiful! To learn more about how to make your own windows bird friendly check out this video by our education assistant Kiera below! 
PIBO's top tips on a successful home window assessment to make sure we can all do our part in keeping birds safe

Job Alert

If the stories from the field thrilled you today, and you have an avian field work background, we'd love to have you join the PIBO team as our next Assistant Field Biologist! We are looking for someone to join us starting in mid-August, so check out the role here and please apply if you think you are the right candidate! We hope to hear from you soon! 
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Additional photos including header and footer provided by Sumiko Onishi
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Pelee Island Bird Observatory · 585 South Shore Road · Box E2, General Delivery · Pelee Island, ON N0R 1M0 · Canada

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