In late September 2010, forty-eight University of Windsor students took part in a field trip to study birds at Point Pelee National Park, University of Windsor's Pelee Environmental Research Centre, and Holiday Beach Conservation Area. A strong wind from the north made for an outstanding day of birding, particularly for raptors. We observed Peregrine Falcons, Merlins, American Kestrels, Sharp-shinned Hawks, Cooper's Hawks, Red-tailed Hawks, Broad-winged Hawks, Northern Harriers, and Bald Eagles. Owing to the generous help of the Holiday Beach Migration Observatory, the group banded songbirds and raptors, and learned about their decades-long hawk monitoring program. By the end of the day, the group had observed 51 different species of birds, and learned a tremendous amount about the biology of birds.

Birding at Canada's most southerly point of land; Point Pelee National Park.

Students observe a Passenger Pigeon specimen in the Point Pelee Visitor's Centre. The specimen was donated to the park by University of Windsor's Department of Biological Sciences.
The students visit the future site of University of Windsor's Pelee Environmental Research Centre on a property recently donated by the Municipality of Leamington.

The 2010 Ornithology course was the first group of Windsor students to collect field observations at the University of Windsor's Pelee Envnironmental Research Centre at Leamington.
At Holiday Beach Conservation Area, the volunteer ornithologists of the Holiday Beach Migration Observatory taught the students about their hawk count data collection protocol.
Bob Hall-Brooks and his volunteer banding team taught the students about mist-netting and songbird banding.
Students had the opportunity to release banded raptors and songbirds thanks to the help of the Holiday Beach Migration Observatory researchers.
Dr. Dan Mennill and the students of the 2010 Ornithology course wish to send a very special thank-you to the Holiday Beach Migration Observatory for sharing their knowledge with us. We wish to give a special thanks to Rene, Dan, and Dorothy on the hawk tower; Bob, Caroline, Theresa, and Chris at the Passerine banding station; and Dorothy, Gary, Claude, Bev, and colleagues at the Hawk banding station. The volunteer work you do not only helped enhance our understanding of birds, but it also leads to a better understanding of migration biology of birds. Thank you!

Photos by Dan Mennill with additional photos by students Nagham El-Houssein, Britney Hewitt, and Bernard Pawlowicz.

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