Le Nichoir continues to strive towards its goal of conserving wild birds through rehabilitation and education. The Centre has had a productive year moving forward with its education program and hiring its first full-time educator, Jo-Annie Gagnon. Jo-Annie, a wildlife biologist, is now offering our “Bird Adaptations: Custom-made for Habitat” program to elementary school children year round in their classrooms.
We are very fortunate to have Bird Protection Quebec (BPQ) help support the program. “As we head into our second year of delivering ‘Bird Adaptations’ we are proud to have BPQ , Canada’s oldest conservation charity, sponsoring it for the next three years,” said Wendy Dollinger, Le Nichoir board member.
Bird Adaptations is an interactive program that explores why Quebec birds have different beaks, feet and wings depending on their diet and habitat. The goal of our program is to promote awareness and understanding in children of the wild birds that surround them and the threats these birds face today.
This program is the first of many as we plan to roll out a new program every year. Coming this fall is “Avian CSI” in which children will become bird detectives and try to discover the reasons behind bird injuries from real situations at Le Nichoir. The program will teach children about the dangers wild birds have to face and introduce them to bird biology.
Education plays a critical role in Le Nichoir’s mission to conserve wild birds as part of our natural heritage. As our facility is located next to the beautiful Clarke Sydenham reserve owned by Nature Conservancy Canada, we have a unique opportunity to expand our education role. With funding from Fondation Hydro-Québec pour l’environnement and Fondation de la Faune du Quebec, we will be posting six interpretive panels throughout the trails in the reserve. Over 90 species of birds have been observed in the reserve, which also has a diversity of habitats. The panels will present information information about local birds, their habitats and the conservation of both.
Visit Le Nichoir’s education program Facebook page, for updates and everything related to our Education programs. This page also offers a great learning tool for the classroom called “Fun Fact Mondays”. Look for an interesting new fun fact every Monday.
Le Nichoir wild bird rehabilitation centre is proud to announce its collaboration with other organizations in a project to enhance the Clarke Sydenham nature reserve, located next to the centre. Financial contributions from the Fondation Hydro-Québec pour l’environnement and the Fondation de la Faune du Québec will help, among other things, to create interpretive panels that will be installed along the trails of the reserve. Nature Conservancy of Canada, which owns the land, approves of the project and will participate in it.
The project also includes the development of an on-site educational program for children. Inspired by our program currently available to schools and school groups, it will allow children to explore the different habitats and observe the birds. The panels will be incorporated into the program and will help teach children to find information independently.
Le Nichoir’s Education Program is proud to be partnering with Bird Protection Quebec (BPQ) , Canada’s oldest conservation charity. For the next three years BPQ will be the exclusive sponsor of Le Nichoir’s new off-site educational program “Bird Adaptations: Custom-made for Habitat”.This partnership will increase Bird Protection Quebec’s impact in the field of education and will enable the delivery of Le Nichoir’s educational program to French and English school-age children in the greater Montreal Area.
Bird Adaptations is an interactive program that explores why Quebec birds have different beaks, feet, and wings depending on their diet and habitat. The goal of our program, taught by a wildlife biologist, is to promote awareness and understanding in children of the wild birds that surround them and the threats these birds face today.
Our Education program is growing and we are excited to be introducing a new program to schools this Fall. Visit our Facebook page, “Le Nichoir Education Services”, for updates and everything related to our Education programs. This page also offers a great learning tool for the classroom called “Fun Fact Mondays”. Look for an interesting new fun fact every Monday.
Early in July, we received a call from Auberge Zen (an animal shelter in Laval) about a “seagull” found entangled in fishing line, suspended in mid-air by its feet. With the help of the local Laval fire department, the bird was eventually detangled, and transported to Le Nichoir.
The preliminary examination showed that the juvenile ring-billed gull had no external injuries and had not suffered any dislocation from being suspended by its’ feet, with both legs responding positively to reflex tests. However, at this point the young bird was underweight and was still lying on its stomach with both of its legs extended backwards. It was questionable whether the gull would be able to recover use of both legs. After being treated with anti-inflammatory medication, the gull was moved to the Quiet Room, where it could recover away from the public eye.
To our surprise the next day, the ring-billed gull was standing upright on both legs and had eaten all of its’ fish! The bird maintained a healthy appetite and was walking in its’ carrier putting weight on both legs equally, showing no signs of discomfort.
A week later, after a thorough re-evaluation, we moved the bird outside to one of our aquatic aviaries to monitor if it could cope walking in a larger area, and most importantly, if it could swim. There were three other ring-billed gulls of approximately the same age already in the aviary, and as soon as we opened the transport box, the gull jumped right out. It stretched and flapped out both of its wings, made small jumps across the aviary chattering to the other two birds the whole time. It eventually made its way to the pool, dove in head first, and paddled its way to the other side. In a few days, we noticed that the gull was flapping its’ wings. It was time for it to be released.
The ring-billed gull was released on July 21st at Vaudreuil-sur-le-lac, Quebec with the help of our volunteers.
One of Le Nichoir’s most anticipated summer events, the annual Open House, will take place on Saturday, July 19. Hudson Mayor, Ed Prevost, joins Le Nichoir’s Executive Director, Susan Wylie, in inviting residents and out-of-towners alike to this fun and educational family day.
“Le Nichoir is a unique place,” says Mayor Prevost. “And the Town of Hudson is proud to be the home of this centre, which is so important to the care of injured birds.”
“We invite everyone to come out and take a look at this most fascinating facility, whose mission it is to conserve wild birds as part of our natural heritage.”
Susan Wylie says there are lots of surprises in store for Open House visitors.
“You can come and observe the wild birds that often come to your own backyard,” she says. “There are always many different species at the Centre, so you could see anything from a fledgling woodpecker calling for food to a Mallard duckling swimming in its pool.”
The event, which runs from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., is open to guests of all ages and will feature interactive activities for both children and adults. The Centre will be buzzing with activity: visitors can meet the team at Le Nichoir, practice their birding skills during a bird-watching tour led by naturalist Chris Cloutier, or take a walk in Nature Conservancy’s Clarke Sydenham Nature Reserve.
The Open House will also give you a chance to meet other environmentally minded organizations and individuals, including Chief Top Leaf, who will give a talk on owls.
The barbeque will be fired up from 11:00am to 1:30pm, with all proceeds benefitting the Centre.