Last week I had the opportunity to travel to the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory and National Wildlife Area for work with two of my coworkers.
Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area & Bird Observatory
Located approximately 20 kilometres from Picton, Ontario and branching into Lake Ontario, the Prince Edward Point (PEP) National Wildlife Area was established in 1978 and protects 518 hectares of land. The PEP Bird Observatory was established in 1995 as a permanent Canadian Migration Monitoring Network station and is located in the National Wildlife Area.
The National Wildlife Area provides continentally important protection for the habitat of migratory birds and other wildlife. More than thirty species at risk have been recorded at PEP National Wildlife Area including the Snapping Turtle (Cheldra serpentina – Special Concern), Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor – Threatened), Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus – Special Concern), and the Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis – Endangered).
In the past year, interpretive signs have been added to the National Wildlife Area for the educational-based benefit of visitors. These signs highlight different species, provide directions, and share information about the National Wildlife Area.
Currently, a new bird banding station is being built with a completion target for the fall migration season. This new facility will better accommodate the needs of the Bird Observatory Manager’s operations and goals. Through a partnership with NatureHood (Funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada), the PEP Bird Observatory offers curriculum based programming for both elementary and secondary school students. These opportunities give students and opportunity to learn more about wildlife and take part in guided activities in the Important Bird Area. This larger facility will better accommodate school groups and the regular banding operations throughout the migratory seasons.
For more information on the Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area, you can access the 2018 Management Plan here.
For more information on the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory, you can visit their website here.