This weekend we celebrate World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD), an annual global campaign that is dedicated to migratory bird awareness and conservation! This year’s WMBD theme is Sing, Fly, Soar – Like a Bird! and is an invitation for bird enthusiasts young and old to share and re-connect with what makes birds unique and special.

The subspecies of loggerhead shrike found in Northeastern Canada is migratory. Photo: A. Samuelson.

We asked this year’s Loggerhead Shrike Recovery Program field teams about their favourite birds to see in flight and to hear sing, and this was what they said:

“I enjoy hearing the call of an osprey. Their calls can be a bit harsh at times, but I find them so expressive! Their whistling reminds me of all the good things about living on the lake– like fishing!”

 -Katelyn West, Carden Field Biologist

“My favourite bird to see flying is the barn swallow. They look so graceful when making their quick turns and dives.”

 -Heather Polowyk, Napanee Field Biologist

“My favourite bird to hear singing is definitely a hermit thrush: this species is dear to me as in the past I’ve primarily worked with boreal bird species. One of my fondest memories is from my first wildlife contract. I shipped off to northern New Brunswick– and later Nova Scotia– I remember the dense fog hazing the mountains and spruce thickets. I was surrounded in pure silence– only noises of nature– and the echoing calls of a pair of hermit thrush singing back and forth sent shivers throughout my entire body.”

-Meaghan Tearle, Carden Field Intern

“My favourite bird to hear is the song sparrow. As their name suggests, these songbirds are complex musicians, ending their song with a beautiful trill!”

-Alannah Lymburner, Eastern Ontario Shrike Biologist

“My favourite birds to watch fly are the more humorous flying-style birds, like the eastern meadowlark with its awkwardly large-looking body and frantic flapping wings. Another funny, frantic and full-of-sass species when it flies is the eastern kingbird. They always look like they’re flapping as hard and fast as they can at all times.”

-Meaghan Tearle, Carden Field Intern

“I really love the song of the pied-billed grebe. It’s just so unique and persistent! I find it always grabs people’s attention. Every time I hear it I am reminded too of the energy it takes for birds to sing since it’s repeated kluks slow down and fade away.”

-Paula Gomez Villalba, Napanee Field Intern

Every team member confessed that it was tough to pick just one favourite migratory bird to see or hear– there are simply too many amazing species to choose from! Watching and listening to birds can be entertaining, peaceful, restorative, and can evoke wonderful memories of a certain time or place. It is for this and about a million other reasons why migratory birds like the eastern loggerhead shrike are fully deserving of our admiration and respect. For the Loggerhead Shrike team at WPC, every day is World Migratory Bird Day!

If you want to learn more about what our amazing field teams are doing to help the eastern loggerhead shrike, visit our program page at https://wildlifepreservation.ca/eastern-loggerhead-shrike-program/!

Jane Spero

Conservation Breeding Coordinator – Eastern Loggerhead Shrike Program

Jane holds a Master’s degree in Animal Biosciences from the University of Guelph, where she studied building collision injuries in migratory songbird species. Jane worked as a rehabilitation supervisor, where she was responsible for the care, treatment, and reintroduction of injured and orphaned wildlife, including many species at risk.

Barn Swallow by Photoholgic on Unsplash. Other bird images sourced from Wikimedia Commons.

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