Tatlayoko Lake Bird Observatory (Photo by Chris Chutter)

Tatlayoko Lake Bird Observatory (Photo by Chris Chutter)

Avery Bartels' Birdathon

Avery Bartels with a sharp-shinned hawk (Photo by Kristie Foster)

Avery Bartels with a sharp-shinned hawk (Photo by Kristie Foster)

Avery Bartels knew he had found a special place when he first came to the Tatlayoko Lake Bird Observatory (TLBO) in 2010 as assistant bander. Since that first season, he has been back every year, becoming bander-in-charge in 2013.

This August Avery will once again travel to the Tatlayoko Valley to take up the helm at the observatory. This will be the station's 10th year — an important milestone in that 10 years represents the point at which the data collected starts to become meaningful for monitoring long-term trends in bird populations.

But before Avery heads back to TLBO, he is participating in the Great Canadian Birdathon (formerly the Ballie Birdathon) to raise money for TLBO.

"This is my first time participating in the Great Canadian Birdathon, which consists of doing a birding 'Big Day' in May," says Avery. "During a 24-hour period in late May I will try to see or hear as many species as possible. The date will depend on the weather as I will try to hit peak migration, and the location will be back on my old stomping grounds at the Long Point Bird Observatory!"

Sponsor Avery Bartels' Birdathon

You can help Avery reach his goal of raising $1,000 to support the Tatlayoko Lake Bird Observatory and bird research in Canada! Visit birdscanada.kintera.org/birdathon/averybartels to make a donation.

You can donate by lump sum or by making a per species pledge. Avery hopes to see 125-150 species, which will challenge him to identify every last bird possible!

Although the birding Big Day will happen in May (an advance date cannot be set, to take into account the weather), contributions can be made until the end of the calendar year. Contributions are tax deductible.

Seventy-five percent of the money Avery raises will go towards TLBO, with the remaining 25 percent going to Bird Studies Canada. If you would like 100 percnt of your donation to go to TLBO, please contact the Nature Conservancy of Canada directly at 1-888-404-8428 or bcoffice@natureconservany.ca.

Why support the Tatlayoko Lake Bird Observatory?

As successful as TLBO has been — and you only need to look at the seasonal blog, tatlayokobirds.wordpress.com, to see the impressive and enlightening work that goes on there — the station is in deep need of funding support. Bird banding stations are notoriously difficult to fund, despite the importance of the information that comes out of them. The details and insights that come from tracking bird migration and population patterns can help us understand everything from the impact of localized habitat loss to signs of global climate change.

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