Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2009 09:05:05 -0800
Reply-To: Charlie <cmmbirds@YAHOO.COM>
Sender: Georgia Birders Online <GABO-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: Charlie <cmmbirds@YAHOO.COM>
Subject: OUT OF AREA: opportunity to help birds
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
This was pulled off the BirdChat listserv. I wish I could go!
From what I've read, the current culling of cormorants parallels the mid-guided blackbird culls of the 1970's and 1980's.
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2009 23:51:05 -0500
From: "Barry K. MacKay" <mimus@SYMPATICO.CA>
Subject: Free room and board on Pelee Island
The saga of denigrating cormorants continues on both sides of the border,
sometimes to bizarre degrees. Unfortunately, those of us trying hard to
promote the truth about cormorants are being stretched rather thin.
Therefore we are looking for someone who has some time on their hands to go
out to Pelee Island from approximately April 6th to May 8th (or for part of
this time). All expenses for accommodation and food will be paid for the
person and a video camera will be provided. We will also hire a boat to
take this person out to Middle Island, which is just visible from shore on
Pelee Island, on the days that Parks Canada is culling double-crested
cormorants so that they can observe and document the disturbance caused to
the bird colony during culling and film injured birds, if any are found or
seen. We are not looking for anyone to interfere or intervene in anyway,
just document what is encountered.
The rest of the time can be devoted to birding to your heart's content.
Pelee Island is located in Lake Erie, south of the famous Point Pelee, and a
good place to look for, well, the unexpected in terms of migrants. Weather
can be quite chilly at that time of year, and it is earlier than the main
thrust of the warbler migration. Pelee Island is not exactly urban, but
there is a restaurant and small grocery store, so it is not at all a
wilderness or camp-out situation, either. The locals are very used to
The person chosen will have to volunteer her or his time, and will be asked
to write a concise report on data collected, and those observations will be
published as part of an ongoing project to protect colonial water bird
colonies on the Great Lakes.
Culling is not conducted on the weekends, in inclement weather or two days
in a row. That means that if there are two nice days in a row, on one of
those days our person can be quite on his or her own, enjoying birding on
the island. This means that the observer would only need to be out in the
boat a maximum of 3 days per week, most likely less due to weather at that
time of the year. Folks prone to seasickness shouldn't even think about
doing this; you have to be comfortable on the water.
We are coordinating our observations with Point Pelee National Park staff
and police so there will be no problems for the observers. Observer safety
is paramount, and obviously all we are seeking is documentation. I'm not
sure, but I think a provincially valid boater's permit will be required, but
we don't care if you're American or Canadian, although you have to be
careful not to move your boat south of the island -- the U.S. border is just
a few hundred yards away.
If anyone is interested in helping out with the observations and might enjoy
a few weeks out on Pelee Island, we invite them to contact Julie Woodyer at
416-285-1744 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org> for more information.
DISCLAIMER: There is no economic incentive for this and my association
with Zoocheck-Canada is entirely voluntary; when I heard about it I thought
it was an ideal activity for a keen birder.
Barry Kent MacKay
Markham, Ontario, Canada.
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