The purpose of this project is to develop the capacity of watershed groups to conserve bird species at risk.

Roland Chiasson, ornithologist with the Aster Group, prepared and delivered a series of training workshops, including bird inventory sheets for use in the field, as well as a Reference guide for the identification of bird species at risk in southeastern New Brunswick. During the month of June 2017, environmental groups of southeastern New Brunswick (Friends of the Kouchibouguacsis, Southeastern Anglers Association, Pays de Cocagne Sustainable Development Group, Shediac Bay Watershed Association, Vision H2O, EOS Eco-Energy, Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance) participated in a training workshop on the identification of bird species at-risk.

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Eastern Wood-Peewee

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Olive-sided Flycatcher

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Barn Swallow

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Common Nighthawk

Participants learned to recognize characteristics such as the size of the bird, the habitat where it was found, the height of its position in a tree, colours, and chants. Roland Chiasson then guided an outing in the field to observe and listen to the various birds-at-risk.  The workshop continued indoors with a specific focus on the recognition of bird species at-risk. Instructions were given on how to record inventory data while doing fieldwork. 

Following initial training, representatives of each group kept their eyes and ears peeled during their fieldwork in order to detect possible indicators of habitats or signs of species-at-risk. At the end of June and during the month of July, Roland Chiasson carried out several fieldwork sessions with the newly-trained technicians in order to  confirm habitat and species identification.

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Roland Chiasson & participants

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Canada Warbler

The groups’ technicians spent approximately 360 hours in the field identifying species at risk. In all, 23 species at risk were recorded. Data was sent to the Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre and recorded with the eBird Program
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Representatives of various watershed groups of southeastern New Brunswick with Roland Chiasson

On a scale from 1 to 5, twenty-three out of twenty-four participants rated the training as a "5" for the quality of the workshop. Technicians said they felt highly motivated by the project. They now have much more knowledge on the subject of bird species-at-risk and their habitats. Species at risk often use their habitats to nest and, later on, disperse towards other nesting habitats during summer. As a result, the participants saw that their restoration work had had a greater reach.    


The Pays de Cocagne Sustainable Development Group would like to thank the New Brunswick Wildlife Trust Fund, as well as watershed groups of southeastern New Brunswick for their time and the sharing of their knowledge in the field. 

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