Regional Coordinators

Regional Coordinators (RCs) are the backbone of the Atlas project. These folks work very hard for the Atlas and do an amazing job. They are your main source of contact with the Atlas. They’ll help answer your Atlas questions, assign “principal atlassers” to squares, and generally help you work out how best to contribute to the project. Please contact the RC for any region you are considering atlassing in.

Click the region on the map to see the contact information for the RC.

Region 01 - Essex

Karen Cedar – I began studying birds in 1989 while working for Mike Cadman but I became a “birder” when I began working for Paul Pratt in 1990. Thanks to these two people I have been enthralled with birds and their behaviour for over 30 years. I have participated in the 2nd Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas, Ontario Rare Breeding Bird Program, Forest Bird Monitoring Program, Breeding Bird Surveys, and Christmas Bird Counts. Most of these were in Essex County but I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in other regions, including Polar Bear Provincial Park. I look forward to the discoveries that will be made as we undertake the 3rd Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas!

Paul Pratt – My passion for birds and natural history began as a child exploring rural Lambton County. Northern Bobwhite, Upland Sandpiper, Eastern Meadowlark and Red-headed Woodpecker were familiar birds long before my first field guide. Birding became serious after a winter trip to Point Pelee where I saw my first Eastern Bluebirds and Eastern Towhee against a backdrop of snow and brilliant blue sky. I’ve been birding now for over 50 years and have shared my enthusiasm for birds and nature with thousands of people through my career as an interpretive naturalist. I am currently president of the Essex County Field Naturalists’ Club and Holiday Beach Migration Observatory, and past member of the Ontario Bird Records Committee. This is my third time with Karen Cedar as Essex County Regional Coordinator for the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas.

Region 02 - Chatham-Kent

Jeremy Hatt – My interest in birding started when I was 10 years old. Essex County is the place I bird most often but Chatham-Kent County comes in at a close second. I am currently the eBird reviewer for Chatham-Kent County and also volunteer for various citizen science projects like Christmas Bird Counts, Ontario SwiftWatch, and Bird Canada’s Important Bird Area program. I also volunteer for the Essex County Field Naturalists’ Club and the Ontario Field Ornithologists in various capacities from trip leading to writing articles and serving on committees. I did breeding bird surveys and point counts for the second Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas but wanted to be more involved in the third Atlas so I am excited for the opportunity to serve as Regional Coordinator for Chatham-Kent.

Region 03 - Lambton

Tanya Berkers – I was just a beginner birder in the final year of the second Ontario Atlas. Now, after many years of coordinating Christmas Bird Counts, managing land trust properties, and working for Ontario Parks, I’ve come to love birding and deeply appreciate how much birds can tell us about our world. I’m so excited to contribute to the third Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas project, especially since it gives me more reasons to go out to my favourite Carolinian forests and look for my favourite birds, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers.

Region 04 - Middlesex-Elgin

George Prieksaitis – I started birdwatching with my parents on our farm in Rodney, Ontario when I was five years old and it has been a lifelong passion ever since that time (almost 45 years). I participated in both the 1981-1985 and 2001-2005 Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas projects in Elgin, Kent and Middlesex Counties, and really enjoyed learning to bird by ear. I have also been a bander of diurnal raptors with the Hawk Cliff Raptor Banders for the past 25 years and this bird group is my passion. Carolinian forest species are a close second. I am most excited about doing point counts again during this Atlas and using the new “App” to input data as I travel around my region and the province as a whole. Looking forward to engaging with the next generation of younger birders to get out and volunteer, just like I did over 40 years ago! Time for me to pay it forward!

Pete Read – As a young lad, I was always exploring along the waterways in the London area, interested in all nature back then, but have become mainly focused on avian life as an adult. I took part finding data on some local and Central Ontario squares in the first Atlas. For the second Atlas, I was able to take an even more active role. In the first two years, I covered several local squares in Region 4. The next year I was on a team of square-bashers that found data on about 50 squares in Central Ontario. In each of the final two years, I worked some of the large northwest Ontario squares, for the Boreal Initiative Project, studying wildlife, especially birds, near First Nation communities. Over the years, I have involved myself in all aspects of ornithology, both as a hobby and profession. I am excited to be taking part in the 3rd Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas, especially to see how the status of our avifauna has changed but also to promote birding as a pastime and as a career.

Region 05 - Norfolk

Stuart Mackenzie – I began exploring the natural world in the womb, and have been birding since the age of 2. Learning to pshhh on my father’s knee as good a start as any. I am now Director, Migration Ecology at Birds Canada (BSC) where I manage aspects of the Motus Wildlife Tracking System, Long Point Bird Observatory, Thunder Cape Bird Observatory and Canadian Migration Monitoring Network. I was heavily engaged in the field for the 2nd Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas, spending a lot of time across the Boreal and in remote areas of Long Point. Atlassing is a great way to build skills, comradery, and teamwork between birders. It’s also an excellent excuse to explore the little known and seldom visited reaches of the province.

Region 06 - Huron-Perth

Dave Brown – I began birding at the age of 11 and I’ve continued birding for the past 46 years in Canada as well as in other countries including Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, Trinidad and Colombia. I’ve enjoyed teaching others about birding, through my birding club at school, on organized student field trips and for visitors to the Hawk Cliff Hawk Watch where I’ve served as coordinator for over 30 years. I spent two seasons banding and doing census work at the Long Point Bird Observatory and helped with the update to the BSC website in the early 2000’s. I participated in the 2nd Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas, helping collect data on several squares and enjoyed all aspects of the field work, especially those outings where I dragged along family members, often before dawn… or as my brother put it “at the crack of stupid!”. I’m looking forward to this 3rd Atlas.

Region 07 - Waterloo

Ken Burrell – I started birding as a kid through the encouragement of my parents, and the friendly competition of my brother, Mike. As an avid birder in Ontario, I’m really looking forward to being a part of Atlas-3 and am excited to see the new discoveries and changes in Ontario’s bird-life, particularly since Atlas-2. My favourite species is the Prothonotary Warbler; definitely my ‘hook’ bird and I’ve been bird-crazy ever since I saw one as a kid.

Region 08 - Bruce

Kiah Jasper – My obsession with the avian world began in 2016, when I set out to find a Snowy Owl. For months I had been reading about all the owls people were seeing that winter, so I went out in search of them. It wasn’t exactly a spark bird as much as a spark experience for me, as in those weeks that I spent searching for Snowy Owls I came across lots of other interesting birds like Horned Larks and Golden Eagles. From that point on I was hooked and I’ve never looked back since. My favourite types of birding are hawk-watching and lake-watching and my favourite bird is probably Gyrfalcon. I have led hikes around the Bruce Peninsula for the Bruce Birding Club and OFO. I am also an eBird reviewer for Bruce, Grey and Huron counties. This will be my first time participating in a Breeding Bird Atlas and I am looking forward to contributing to the project!

Jarmo Jalava – Many decades ago, I was lured into birding by a very sneaky Song Sparrow who’d show up in our suburban Toronto backyard every March and tease me with its gorgeous song, always slipping away into the bushes before I could get a fix on him. In trying to find the singer, I discovered a whole colourful, musical, and super interesting community of birds in nearby Toronto ravines, and at our cottage near Parry Sound. This led to volunteering at the Long Point Bird Observatory as a teen, reintroducing then-extirpated Peregrine Falcons to the wilds of Algonquin Park as a summer job, and eventually to a career as an ecologist. I still bird non-stop thanks to that sneaky sparrow, so I’ll call it my favourite species, although the actual number of “Jarmo’s favourite bird species” is a running joke in my household. My favourite birding habitat? Give me a coast, any coast. I atlassed much of the eastern Georgian Bay coast during the second Atlas, and on this third edition I very much look forward to being Kiah Jasper’s youthful deputy coordinator for Bruce (i.e., helping out as needed) and atlasing a bunch of squares in my two Ontario home areas (the Saugeen Bruce Peninsula and the south coast of Manitoulin Island).

Region 09 - Grey


Paul Eagles – Paul Eagles was born and raised in Grey County. His father was a mink rancher at Springhill Fur Farms in Artemisia Township. Paul has two degrees in Biology, a B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Waterloo, and a M.Sc. in Zoology from the University of Guelph. His Ph.D. is in urban and regional planning from the University of Waterloo. After a 40 year career as a professor at the University of Waterloo, he retired in 2014. He was heavily involved in the formulation and operation of the first Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas, from 1979 to 1987. He was an editor of the first atlas. Grey Country has a rich natural heritage with excellent breeding bird habitats. It is an honour to be able to contribute to a better knowledge of the avifauna of this wonderful area.


Lynne Richardson – I’ve been birding since I was a kid and don’t remember not ever being interested in birds. The first Atlas coincided with the time when my interest in birds was evolving from simple ID to wanting to know everything about them. I credit Atlassing with making me a better birder. Although I love field birding, birding “with a purpose” is what really interests me. The various “citizen scientist” projects that have evolved over the years have expanded my knowledge and enthusiasm – Christmas Bird Counts, Forest Bird Monitoring, the ROM’s Nest Record Scheme, Bluebird Trails, the Grey-Bruce Bird Records Committee, and more recently, overseeing the Piping Plover Recovery Project outreach and education program at Sauble Beach, and being on the Program Committee of the fabulous Huron Fringe Birding Festival, out of MacGregor Point Provincial Park. I look forward to the third Atlas and the wonderful discoveries and experiences it will bring to so many birders in Grey County.

Mark Wiercinski – I was brought up on an apple orchard by a mother who would walk us around and show us everything she could; robins, crows, doves, killdeer, anything that nested or stopped by the farm. Birding started when mom shared her binoculars and we got closer .. then the curiosity took over and we got hooked. I have been on every Atlas project for Ontario. I did a bunch of volunteer squares and helped in a few ways, but I was also a birder for hire and did a few paid stints. During the second Atlas I was part of the test run to figure out how to work population estimates into the field work. I figured I better join the team for round three. Birding is a job and a hobby for me, I am a scientist by trade and my curiosity is always tweaked by birds and bird behaviour.

Erik Van Den Kieboom – I have been interested in birds my whole life and started birding more seriously around age 13. I grew up on a fifteen-acre property in the forested countryside of Grey County. This setting sparked my interest in birding as I was able to see a great multitude of species in my own yard. My favourite species of bird is the Sandhill Crane. I am lucky enough to be living in an area where several pairs come to breed. Watching the young transition from little fluffballs into fully fledged adults over the course of a summer is what makes birding the best pastime in my opinion. This will be my first atlas, and I am excited to start recording data from around my own home. I am one of three regional coordinators for Grey County, and I cannot wait to see what our atlassers will find!

Region 10 - Halton

Dan MacNeal – I’ve been interested in birds and the outdoors as long as I can remember. I guess as a child I started as a feeder watcher trying to identify the birds at my grandparents feeders with their old field guide. It wasn’t until I started using eBird about 10 years ago that I really started seriously birding and exploring my region. I work in Dufferin County and live in Wellington County so have done the majority of my birding in those areas. A couple years ago I joined the eBird review team for Ontario and now review Dufferin and Wellington County records. A couple of my favourite places to go birding are Luther Marsh and the Mansfield Mulmur area. This will be my first Altas and I really look forward to getting to know the birds in my region better and exploring some new areas.

Ross Wood – I have had a life-long fascination with birds and birding. From the moment I could first walk, I have been constantly on the move following birds. After getting involved late in the 2nd Atlas I am looking forward to being fully involved with all aspects this time around. I am looking forward to exploring parts of the province near and far that without the added incentive of atlassing, I may have never had the chance or even thought to explore. There is nothing I enjoy more each spring and summer than being out in the woods and marshes of Ontario, well before the sun rises, when it feels like it is just me and the birds.

Region 11 - Niagara

Marcie Jacklin – The first day I birded was on Jan 28, 1989 on an Ottawa Field Naturalists Club outing to Cornwall-Saunders Power Dam lead by Bruce Di Labio. That trip changed my life and lead to 30+ years of birding with an Ontario list of 388 species of birds as well as trips to twelve other countries. I participated in the second Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas. It was a big learning curve but I loved it. I like birding because gives me incentive to get outside and explore different habitats and see some wonderful people who I am glad to call my birding friends. My favourite species? I would have to say Red-headed Woodpecker but I love all the warblers too. My favourite habitat? I’d have to say during the day, woodlands but in the evenings standing by a marsh is magical. For the upcoming Breeding Bird Atlas, I’m excited about further developing my nest finding skills and our ‘team’ finding some new nesting records for Niagara.

Region 12 - Toronto

Amanda Guercio – My first serious introduction to birding was on a field course in Algonquin Provincial Park when I was in university, and from there it became somewhat of an obsession! I love birding by ear and worked as a point count technician for the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas for two summers, and spent several of my springs and autumns running the Delta Marsh Bird Observatory. I have also done marsh monitoring across Ontario and Atlantic Canada, and the pursuit of birds has brought me to a number of incredible places in Canada and around the world, but Toronto’s ravines and lakefront migrant traps will always be special to me. I’m one of the eBird reviewers for Toronto and am currently serving a term as Chair of the OBRC, and my favourite groups of birds are gulls and seabirds!

Mark Peck – The third Ontario Atlas…finally! I went on my first breeding bird field trip with my father George Peck, Coordinator of the Ontario Nest Records Scheme (now Project Nestwatch) when I was 11 years old. The goal was to find as many nests of as many species as possible to better understand breeding birds in the Province. I was hooked on breeding birds. My first fieldwork with the Royal Ontario Museum was during the 1st Atlas in Hastings County and then up in the Hudson Bay coast with Dr. Ross James. My fieldwork during the 2nd Atlas was shared between Halton RM, Rainy River and sites along James and Hudson bays. This time my goal is to help coordinate Toronto, and Atlas the Haliburton Highlands and Ontario’s far north. Atlassing is citizen/community science on steroids. Birding doesn’t get any better! And remember, if you find nests, enter them into Project Nestwatch, Birds Canada.

Emily Rondel – A long-time bird watcher and researcher, I have observed and surveyed birds throughout Ontario, from Lake Erie to the Arctic. I am the Vice President of the Toronto Ornithological Club, an eBird reviewer for Toronto, and on the Volunteer Committee for the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas. My interest in birds began with my Master’s degree, which focused on citizen science applications for monitoring birds. This work took me to Ontario’s birding mecca, Point Pelee, and from then on birding became a minor obsession! As someone who has long been fascinated by the intersection of hobby birding and conservation science, the Atlas is an amazing opportunity to see both of these things reach their highest potential!

Region 13 - Simcoe

Ian Cook – I still have my first year list for Ontario from 1967, when I was 6. My dad was a well-known field naturalist in the London area. I’ve been birding off and on, but mostly on, since. Birding has taken me to some wonderful corners of the world (Costa Rica, India, Colombia, and all over N America), and introduced me to some of my best friends. Atlassing highlights are the 3 remote paddling trips I’ve done in the far north of Manitoba and Saskatchewan in the vast boreal forest. I look forward to re-visiting the square I covered in Simcoe County 20 years ago, and exploring the habitats near my cottage in McGregor Bay near Espanola.

Region 14 - Kawartha

Chris Ellingwood – Having been a birder for over 40 years, I still avidly bird almost every day. The Kawartha Lakes provides ample opportunities from the Carden Plain to Shield forests, innumerable lakes and lots of wetlands. The 1st atlas, I was a young ‘square basher’, collecting data across Ontario and honing my birding by ear skills. The second atlas and this one will see me as the regional coordinator. Atlassing is a great way to explore roads and trails you’ve never seen before and rapidly increases your observation skills of bird breeding activities. I look forward to seeing the changes in the bird populations from the 2nd Atlas, and gaining a better understanding of birds that are endangered or threatened.

Region 15 - Hamilton

Rob Dobos – I have been seriously birding for over 35 years, and during that time, have participated in many projects involving bird counts and breeding surveys. As a volunteer with the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club, I was the compiler of the Noteworthy Bird Records for the Hamilton area for 22 years, and enjoy birding in this diverse area, in particular looking for pelagic fall migrants at Van Wagners Beach. I have served on the Ontario Bird Records Committee as secretary, voting member and chairperson. During the second Atlas, I took over as Regional Coordinator for the Hamilton Region in the second year and greatly enjoyed atlassing in my adopted square as well as filling in gaps elsewhere in my region. Since my retirement from work with Environment Canada last year, I expect to have more time to spend in the field during this atlas. I am looking forward to seeing how things have changed with breeding populations in the region.

Region 16 - Peterborough

Martin Parker – As a young person I always had an interest in birds and nature. At the age of 12 I participated in my first Christmas Bird Count in Brockville, Ontario. I have participated in one or more CBCs annually since. Currently I am the compiler for two counts and initiated four counts, all of which are still continuing. My birding interest increased as a member of the Peterborough Field Naturalists and then blossomed when I was hired as a seasonal naturalist at Prequ’ile Provincial Park. An ideal job. Over the next twelve years I worked in a number of parks across the province. My career then changed to that of a municipal official. I noted I was the Regional Coordinator for the initial Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas for Bruce Region. The greatest surprise was the diversity of species in an atlas square. The most diverse square in had over 130 species with the agriculture dominated squares having 80+ species. The other accomplishment was the recruiting of interested people to the Atlas and watching their skills develop over the next five years. This created a base for an active birding and naturalist community in Bruce County. For the 2nd Atlas I was based in Parry Sound District which had different challenges. The lack of a road network was major obstacle. Now based in Peterborough I am looking forward to working in that region – a region with a core of excellent birders. Atlassing is a family activity. My wife, Kathy, was the Regional Coordinator for West Nipissing in the 2nd Atlas and one of our sons worked on one of the field crews in the last summer. All our children participated in a way. I am looking forward to introducing our grandchildren to atlassing.

Don Sutherland – I live and bird (is there a difference?) in Peterborough Co. where I’ve resided for the past 30 years. I’ve been an avid birder since my first trip to Point Pelee National Park at the age of nine. What started as a hobby quickly became an all-consuming passion leading to a career conducting not only bird surveys but later general life science inventories of both established and proposed protected areas. Until retiring in 2020 I worked as a zoologist for the Natural Heritage Information Centre with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.  Retirement now allows me to do at least some birding every day of the year. My participation in the third atlas was a given, as I had been heavily involved in both the preceding two atlases and honestly, could hardly wait for the start of the third.

Region 17 - Northumberland

Doug McRae – I have been birding since childhood and have made Northumberland County, especially Presqu’ile, my main patch for decades. I have also travelled extensively in the Hudson Bay lowland on the coasts of both Hudson and James Bay where I worked on many projects, most relating to shorebirds. In 2015 I purchased an 8 acre natural area just outside the gate of Presqu’ile Park which I am now restoring to enhance its biological capacity. I also run Shrew Solutions, a company that specializes in workshops and field trips relating to natural history, as well as doing biological assessments for interested property owners.

Andrea Kingsley – I have been fascinated by the natural world for as long as I can remember, birds however have always been my main passion. I have a background in biology and natural history interpretation through environmental consultant jobs, teaching, research, and volunteer positions. I have an MSc in biology, which involved studying the effects of uniform shelterwood logging on the birds of Algonquin Provincial Park, where I was also a park naturalist. I have lived and worked all over Ontario but have lived in Brighton since 2011. I love Presquile and Northumberland county and look forward to helping with the atlas in this great area.

Marie Wannamaker – I’m an avid birder and have enjoyed birding and learning about birds and their habitat since 2016. I have an off grid recreational property in the Northumberland area, where I enjoy growing vegetables, flowers, trees and of course birding. Every year I try to explore areas, in Ontario, I’ve never been to before. There’s nothing quite like getting up at 6 am and walking a trail you’ve never hiked before; listening and watching for birds. It’s both relaxing and energizing.

Region 18 - Muskoka

Regan and David Goodyear – About 35 years ago, on a whim, we responded to a call for volunteers to take part in a spring bird count. After a day’s hard work, we confidently identified all of 13 species! We’ve been hooked on birding ever since. We have participated in several breeding bird surveys as well as projects studying Golden-winged Warblers and Eastern Whip-poor-wills, and each year we conduct point counts for the Nocturnal Owl Survey and the Marsh Monitoring Program. We also volunteered as banders and migration monitors for a season at the Long Point Bird Observatory and the Hawkwatch International site in the Goshute Mountains, Nevada. We are avid Muskoka birders and enjoy exploring the quiet corners of our region. We are also the faces behind the Muskoka Bird Records Data account on eBird, where we have been inputting historical Muskoka bird observations that we have spent several years researching and collecting. Birding has taken us to many beautiful places and introduced us to great friends, and we are looking forward to working on the Atlas project with Team Muskoka!

Wendy Hill – Growing up in the isolated Hydro colony, Abitibi Canyon in Northern Ontario, the outdoors was my playground and classroom. Everything nature intrigued me, sparking a career and volunteerism in Outdoor Education. Birds specifically were always present in the art, feeders, binoculars, and field guides in our home. The “Oh, sweet Canada, Canada, Canada” song of the White-throated Sparrow still transports me back to wandering northern woods with my Dad. I knew I was officially a birder when I joined a Bird Club while living in Wisconsin. I met “peeps” that shared my interests, “got” my distraction tendencies (bird!), understood Seagull is not a species. I participated annually in FeederWatch, Backyard Bird and Christmas Bird Counts, and joined eBird. I volunteered on US Fish & Wildlife Grassland Bird Surveys, and with passerine, and Northern Saw-whet Owl banding at Carpenter Nature Center in Minnesota. I also participated in the 2nd Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas. A life-long learner, I am thrilled to be back home and have the opportunity to participate with Team Muskoka in the 3rd Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas!

Janice House – I am bird crazy, Secretary of the Muskoka Field Naturalists, a member of Huntsville Nature Club and I also volunteer for the Muskoka Conservancy. I love being outside and enjoy birding by ear, bird counts and birdathons. I survived the Carden Challenge and the OFO trip to Rainy River in 2019 and will be participating in the 2020 Carden Challenge. I played a very small part in the last Atlas and I am excited to be a part of Atlas-3. The song of the Eastern Wood-Pewee is my favourite, they use it in a lot of movies!

Aaron Rusak – I am the Land Stewardship Coordinator and an avid birder within the Muskoka Region. I volunteer with Birds Canada and am the Regional Coordinator for the Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program for the region. I have been birding for most of my life, but seriously began birding in 2017. I participated in a Muskoka Big Year in 2019, seeing 212 species within Muskoka. My favourite bird is the Cedar Waxwing.
Al Sinclair – I was raised close to nature on a farm near the Sauble River in Bruce County and was a member of the Federation of Ontario Naturalists’ Young Naturalists Club. I started birding seriously in the 1970s after moving to the backwoods of Muskoka where I found a little bird with a musical song that is still my favourite bird, the Winter Wren. I was hooked on birding, I started learning every bird’s song and making annual spring trips to Point Pelee. I am now the local Christmas Bird Count compiler and a Muskoka eBird editor. I helped start the Muskoka Field Naturalists during the first Atlas so we could find more atlassers. In the second Atlas I was the Regional Coordinator and this time I am part of a regional coordinating team. Atlassing is a great way to learn more about birds. I can’t wait get started!
Dale Wenger – I first started birding 6 years ago and fell in love! It happened on an introduction to birding course I took in College. I saw a Savannah Sparrow for the first time and my life changed forever. I have birded in most parts of Ontario, as well as traveled to the Caribbean, Central and South America. This will be my first Breeding Bird Atlas and I am very excited to learn everything I can. It is also very exciting that our region will be coordinating as a committee as this will help me grow and learn. My favourite family of birds are the American Sparrows but my favourite species is whatever bird I am currently looking at. If I was to pick my ideal habitat to go birding it would consist of an area where open field meets marsh, and the fringe habitat that intersects them. With all that being said there is never a bad time or place to look at birds

Region 19 - Haliburton

Brian Pfrimmer – I first became interested in watching birds when l was eight years old. We had a large bay window in our dining room that allowed for close views of many colourful winter visitors at our feeders. I have been seeking out and watching birds since that time and have become more and more interested over the years. I have been very fortunate in my previous work to have spent time interacting with nature in the great outdoors. I have travelled in Canada, the United States and several countries around the world pursuing my hobby. During the previous Breeding Bird Atlas I participated by conducting breeding bird square counts. In Ontario, wetlands are one of my favourite areas to explore. However the most exciting and rewarding has been tropical rain forest adventures. I am looking forward to this next Atlas to meet new birding friends and exploring new areas in our county that l have not been to yet.

Ed Poropat – I’ve been interested in the outdoors as long as I can remember, exploring fields and woodlots near the outskirts of Toronto as a young child. I still fondly recall getting my first binoculars at age 12 and visiting Presqu’ile Provincial Park in mid-May with a mentor and a few friends. That weekend camping trip was a life-changer for me, opening my eyes to the amazing, colourful world of birds! The brief experience turned me into a passionate, life-long birder and naturalist. This love and interest in the outdoors eventually led me to settle in beautiful Haliburton County. I have been involved in both Ontario Breeding Bird Atlases, first as a participant, then as a Regional Coordinator during the second Atlas. I am looking forward to seeing how the avian landscape has changed over the past 20 years, both locally, and provincially.

Region 20 - Prince Edward

Nick Bartok – I grew up in central Ontario on the doorstep of Algonquin Provincial Park and have been birdwatching since childhood. After completing a BES at the University of Waterloo with a thesis on Trumpeter Swans in Ontario, I moved to Yuma, Arizona to conduct research on secretive marsh birds along the Colorado River and Burrowing Owls at the Salton Sea. After three spring/summer field seasons in the desert heat and two summer/fall season in southern Oregon bird banding, I moved to Victoria, BC to help run the bird banding operations at Rocky Point Bird Observatory. Having worked for non-profit and academic organizations, and provincial and federal governments, I completed an M.Sc. at the University of Western Ontario studying Least Bittern populations and habitat associations at Long Point, Ontario. After graduation, me and my wife Erin, moved to Calgary to start a professional career as a wildlife biologist for a large consulting firm. After 9 years in Calgary, me and my family moved back to Ontario (Bath) in fall 2019. Besides enjoying being a husband, dad, and avid bird watcher, I am also a certified trainer level bird bander with the North American Banding Council and annually lead bird banding workshops in Belize.

Region 21 - Kingston

Mark Read – Originally from the UK, I have been birding for over 40 years but have been settled in Canada for the last eight. This will therefore be my first Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas but I have worked on others, most recently the UK Atlas of 2007-11. As well as being a Regional Coordinator for the Ontario Atlas, I am a member of the Significant Species Committee that is already working in the background to streamline data submission. More generally, I am also chair of the Kingston Rare Bird Committee and have recently joined the Ontario Bird Records Committee. Living on Wolfe Island (Kingston) and working with Ontario Parks, I am constantly surrounded by birds (and other wildlife), and am truly excited to be part of such an exciting project. Hopefully, I’ll get to know some of you over the next few years as we survey our part of Ontario

Region 22 - Leeds and Grenville

Stew Hamill – I grew up on a Southwestern Ontario farm and was always interested in wildlife. My father, the farmer, knew a lot of bird names, but I still remember the first bird I identified, using our Peterson guide, which he didn’t know: Great Crested Flycatcher. I always watched for birds, but it never occurred to me to go looking for them until I was introduced to the concept in Grade 11 on a summer Junior Naturalist program. My interests led to 2 degrees in wildlife and the environment, and fulltime work in those fields in Eastern Ontario. When I was laid off from the federal government in 1996 and began work as a natural resource and environmental consultant, I started learning more about local birds. As a Regional Coordinator for the previous Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas I learned even more. Now I go birding regularly and am still learning.

Gerard Phillips – I started birding in Dublin, Ireland Feb 1976. I spent weekends birding throughout Ireland, often staying often at Cape Clear Bird Observatory in the southwest observing seabird migration, and looking for rarities. I took trips to Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria in search of birds, including a wings tour in 1989 to Eilat, Israel. I immigrated to Los Angeles, California in late 1993, and quickly immersed into the LA birding scene. I took my introduction to atlasing during the LA BBA coordinated by Kimball Garrett at the LA Museum. I took a two month stipend at Point Reyes Bird Observatory in 1996, and conducted daily point counts throughout three National Forests in southern California. I learned to band birds at the PRBO Palo Marin Field station, and banded at the Big Sur Ornithology Lab and later with Peter Pyle for two months on the southeast Farallon Island. I ran a MAPS station at Hopper Ranch funded by the USFW in the Los Padres Nation Forest CA, and assisted the crew on the first release and monitoring of (7) California Condor at Lyons Canyon in the LPNF. I moved to upstate NY in 1998, and was spring hawk counter at Derby Hill Bird Observatory for nine seasons, also counting hawks during fall at Curry Hammock SP on the Florida Keys. I served 5 years as a voting member of the New York State Avian Records Committee, and atlassed during the NY BBA 1996-2005. I atlassed during the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas 2001-2005 with my late wife/Canadian wildlife artist Brenda Carter (1943-2010).The 2021 Atlas will be my first as a Regional Coordinator. I look forward to coordinating with others and gleaning data from those relatively local areas were few if any birders go.

Region 23 - Cornwall-Hawkesbury

Christine Trudeau – My birding voyage began at our family cottage at Lake George, just north of Alfred Ontario when I was about 14 years old. We fed birds and had multiple species including the voracious Evening Grosbeaks!! I began actively birding in Far Eastern Ontario when I joined the Vankleek Hill & District Nature Society 24 years ago. As a member of the executive committee, I have been involved in many bird-related projects and I particularly enjoy participating in and organizing local Citizen Science bird projects. I am the compiler for the Vankleek Hill, Alfred-Montebello and Forêt Larose-Casselman Christmas Bird Counts. I was co-coordinator with Jacques Bouvier in Region 23 in the last Atlas (2001-2005) and now I am the Lead Coordinator in the Cornwall-Hawkesbury Region 23 with Lance Laviolette and Jacques Bouvier. I look forward to working with fellow atlasssers in this upcoming atlas!

Jacques Bouvier – I was born in Ottawa, and now live in Hawkesbury, Ontario. I have birded actively in Eastern Ontario for the past 50 years. During 30 of those years I earned my living teaching full-time, college-level courses such as Ornithology, Wildlife Management, and Forest Ecology, right up to my retirement in 2004. I was the Atlas coordinator in the Pembroke region from 1981 to 1985, and co-coordinated with Christine Trudeau in the Cornwall region from 2002 to 2005. Starting in 2021, I will be joining two other co-coordinators in the Cornwall-Hawkesbury region (previously known as the Cornwall region). Like many returning coordinators I hope to keep volunteering until the end of 2025.

Lance Laviolette – I got my first field guide, it was a hardcover Peterson, when I was 10 years old and I haven’t stopped birding since that time. Birding has taken me from my back yard, across Canada and to other parts of the world. I’ve been involved with five previous Atlas projects as a participant but this will be my first as a Regional Coordinator. We have a rather unique arrangement in our region and I will be part of a three-person team coordinating it. I’m also a long-time participant in Christmas Bird Counts and the Breeding Bird Survey and I’ve been coordinating the operation of the Brier Island Bird Migration Research Station on Brier Island, Nova Scotia for more than 40 years. I’m very much looking forward to working with my fellow Regional Coordinators and volunteers on this, the third Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas.

Region 24 - Ottawa

Aaron Hywarren – I have been birding in one way or another for as long as I can remember, beginning with learning prairie bird song growing-up in Southern Manitoba. I am a member of the OFO, OFNC, and KFN, and in addition to participating in two long-standing local Christmas Bird Counts, I am the Ottawa Centre Sector Lead for the Ottawa-Gatineau Christmas Bird Count. Could be my prairie upbringing, but I also like enduring the Neptune-like conditions of the infamous Winchester Winter Bird Count. I enjoy pretty much all aspects of the hobby, but three things make it particularly satisfying: seeing that special smile when someone gets a lifer; the quiet sense of wonder one has when reflecting on the journeys of migrants; and, locating an elusive species after a bushwhack or some other adventure. With my retirement after a rewarding career in the Federal Public Service, I am looking forward to contributing to the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas and confirming for everyone that all the really cool birds can be found around Ottawa.

Region 25 - Silver Lake

Rémy Poulin – I started birding, unintentionally, back in 1999 when, unbeknownst to me, my wife signed me up for a weekend winter birdwatching course as a way to get me to take a break from a busy job. Grudgingly, I went along with it…and was hooked. I subsequently joined the Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club (OFNC) and the OFO and started to learn. I even took on a square in the 2nd Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas but eventually had to hand it over when I was posted to the US. When I got back to Ottawa, I served on the Board of Directors of the OFNC, joined the Birds Committee and was the Recording Secretary for the Bird Records Sub-committee. Now living in Perth, I’m a member of the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists Club and I’ve got two squares in Region 25. You’ll often find me birding in the Perth Wildlife Reserve or kayaking along the many lakes and rivers in the surrounding area. Looking forward to working with the rest of the Atlas team.

Region 26 - Renfrew

Christian Renault – Since I was 5-6 years old, I was fascinated by animals, but birds became my passion during my teenage years. That brought me to study zoology in Guelph, and birding mostly on my own for years, until I joined our local club 14 years ago. That helped me learn a lot about birding. I participate in 4-5 CBC per season, and this is my first time atlassing; it will allow me to live a passion in birdwatching during retirement. I like the surprises we can get while birding: unknown call or song, challenges on species ID, or discovering a rare species. Warblers are probably my favourites. I like to check out woods, marshes and prairies while birding. I look forward to added technology and getting more people involved to collect data; this should be an awesome 3rd Atlas!

Region 27 - Algonquin

Doug Tozer – I was raised just outside Algonquin Provincial Park in central Ontario, and got interested in birds when I was quite young. I remember atlassing in the first Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas with my father, Ron Tozer, when I was 5-9 years old, and I worked as a field and research assistant during the second Ontario Atlas. I was a seasonal naturalist in Algonquin for 5 years and did my Ph.D. research on sapsuckers there, but now I’m Director, Waterbirds and Wetlands at Birds Canada in southern Ontario, where I lead the Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program, Canadian Lakes Loon Survey, and Long Point Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Program. I really enjoy finding and observing bird nests, so atlassing is a major addiction for me, and I especially enjoy the northern specialties of the Algonquin region (like Canada Jay and Spruce Grouse) in its relatively accessible and wild tracts.

Ron Tozer – My interest in birds began in early childhood and I have kept yearly detailed notes on the occurrence and behaviour of birds seen since I was 13 years old. Durham Region and Algonquin Park have been my main birding areas, which resulted in publication of two books: Birds of the Oshawa-Lake Scugog Region, Ontario (co-authored with Jim Richards in 1974) and Birds of Algonquin Park (2012). I began as a Seasonal Naturalist in Algonquin Park in 1961 and was Park Naturalist there from 1972 until retirement in 1996. My activities include: Algonquin Region Coordinator in the first and second Ontario Breeding Bird Atlases; Ontario Bird Records Committee member for 15 years, including five years as Chair; co-editor of the Ontario Field Ornithologists publication, Ontario Birds, for 16 years; eBird reviewer for Nipissing District; and volunteer compiler of the Algonquin Park bird records. I was honoured to receive OFO’s Distinguished Ornithologist Award in 2009.

Region 28 - Parry Sound

Alex Mills – I began birding in the early 1970s. My skills were honed as an Algonquin Park naturalist during my undergraduate years, and I went on to obtain an M.Sc. from Carleton University studying the influence of moonlight on Whip-poor-wills, and then a PhD from University of Toronto studying songbird community structure. I am currently an Associate Professor in York University’s Biology Department, where I teach courses in Evolution, Community Ecology, and Conservation Biology, as well as field courses in places like Belize and Algonquin. My fascination with Whip-poor-wills has been lifelong, and most recently it has been in the form of using GPS tags to study their migration. I was the Parry Sound Regional Coordinator for the first Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas (1981-85), and have been a recreational birder in that region for close to 50 years.

Region 29 - North Bay

Grant McKercher – I’ve had a lifelong interest in nature, and birds in particular, instilled in me by my father who was a great proponent of nature conservation and continuous learning about the natural world around us. I have enjoyed birding for many years, both locally in Northern Ontario where I live, and when travelling to such places as Central America and the Caribbean, Europe, and Africa. Listing and photography have become larger elements of my birding activities, especially since the advent of eBird, to which I contribute regularly. I have been doing FeederWatch for 15 years and Christmas Bird Counts for more than 25 years. In recent years I have been improving my identification skills by participating more in field outings with our local naturalists’ club and completing some on-line studies through Cornell University; but there is always more to learn! I participated in the Atlas-2 as a field observer. With my participation in Atlas-3 I am hoping to improve my birding skills further, but also learn more about the scientific documentation and research aspects of the project. An exciting component of the Atlas, for me, will be the use of new technology to enhance our ability to gather and analyse data, and then compare it to previous Atlas results.

Region 30 - Nipissing West

Region 31 & 32 - Sudbury East & West

Darryl Edwards – Birding for me started with drives in the country with my father pointing out birds as they flew over the road. My first forays into birding by myself were kick-started by a ‘myrtle’ warbler. Since that start, I have maintained a banding permit for the past 20 years, banding mostly passerines in Ontario. On the academic side, much of my research has been done at various sites throughout the low and high arctic on seabirds and shorebirds.

Region 33 - Manitoulin

Anna Sheppard – I was introduced to birding in my early twenties when I visited a Piping Plover monitoring site in rural western Newfoundland. That same day I saw a white egret hunting for prey in the nearby Codroy Valley estuary, and I was totally hooked. As for how and what I have learned over the years, I credit teachers at Sault College, many Christmas Bird Counts, some consulting work, the Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program, and just over a decade working at Ontario Parks (Northeast Zone). Suffice to say I have learned a lot from many people. I was able to contribute a very small amount of data at the tail end of the second Atlas, and have been waiting for the third Atlas to begin ever since! My favourite bird is the Pine Siskin – they are friendly, lively, and remind me of winters where I grew up. I am happy to share what I know about birds, proudest when I impress my daughters, and I would really like to see more women involved in the Atlas!

Will Kershaw – Who doesn’t enjoy birding – birds amaze me. I’ve been involved in the outdoors and natural heritage areas since my earliest memories from growing up in southern Ontario to working in Alberta, the Yukon and northern Ontario. I’ve been exploring the many reaches of Manitoulin Island since 1980 when I worked with Cal and Eunice Sifferd to establish Misery Bay as a provincial park. Manitoulin has a huge diversity of habitats with such an incredible shoreline and close offshore islands. I’ve hiked many areas of the shoreline, alvar and inland habitats and paddled to offshore islands. I enjoy birding with others from Christmas Bird Counts, Owl surveys to migration monitoring to eBird observations in breeding season. Looking forward to documenting with others the breeding evidence of the birds in Manitoulin Region 33 for Ontario’s Breeding Bird Atlas-3.

Region 34 - Blind River

Tyler Hoar – I have been interested in birds since my youth when I realized that birds evolved from dinosaurs.  Through work as a biologist and a birder for 30 years, I have had the pleasure studying birds in many ecosystems across the globe. I got involved in the 2nd Atlas and fell in love with doing point counts which resulted in doing over 1000. Participating in the atlas takes me into new and interesting areas off the regular birding tails, that I return to regularly. My favorite areas to bird and atlas are in almost any wetland and the edges of the Canadian Shield, and the southern Boreal Forest. I do not have one favorite species of birds, but have soft spots for Little Gulls, Golden Eagles, and Evening Grosbeaks.

Region 35 - Sault Ste Marie

Carter Dorscht – While I have always been interested in nature in general, I started really getting into birding when I started keeping track of the species coming to my feeders. It did not take long for me to start keeping track of all the birds I saw and making it an obsession. I now get out birding as much as possible and participate in a number of citizen science projects, such as eBird, iNaturalist, breeding bird surveys, marsh monitoring, and nocturnal owl surveys. I am very excited to participate in my first Breeding Bird Atlas!

Lisa Venier – My interest in birds started at the Queen’s University Biological Station in Chaffeys Lock where I had a summer job studying reproductive behaviour of tree swallows with Raleigh Robertson. I wrote my Honour’s thesis and Master’s thesis on tree swallows before starting a PhD on boreal forest birds with Dan Welsh of the Canadian Wildlife Service and Lenore Fahrig at Carleton University. From there I moved to Sault Ste. Marie to work at the Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada with a research focus on what biodiversity can tell us about forest management. Although I have done work on many species groups like salamanders, insects and small mammals, forest birds have always been my favourite study organism. I am excited to be a part of the third Breeding Bird Atlas that brings together an amazing group of citizen scientists who really know their stuff.

Stan Phippen – I have been a birder for over 40 years and this will be my third Breeding Bird Atlas in Ontario. As a teenager in northern Ontario, I became interested in birds as they came to our feeders. With the encouragement of other birders, I became much more involved and that eventually led to contracts conducting bird surveys across northern Ontario and British Columbia, working with various levels of government, a forestry consulting company and a university. I also worked on Baffin Island where I was intrigued to see many of our “winter” birds in their summer breeding grounds. I have done volunteer work in Ontario with the Forest Bird Monitoring program, owl surveys and assisting with work on the Hudson Bay lowlands. I am always surprised to learn something new about birds. It gives me great pleasure to pass on my knowledge and experience to others including my son, who is also an avid birder and becoming quite skilled.

Derek Goertz – My interest in birds extends as far back as I can remember. So it would come as no surprise to my friends and family that birding would play an important role in my career trajectory. After university I was lucky enough to turn my love of the natural world (and birds!) into a profession. I worked in a number biology-related positions that eventually led to my current position as a Biologist with the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry in Sault Ste. Marie. Throughout my career I’ve had the opportunity to engage in numerous bird studies across Ontario (including Ontario’s Far North) as well as in Alberta and Saskatchewan. My recreational birding activities have taken me to areas of the world I would not have likely traveled otherwise; from the Canadian arctic to the southern tip of South America and beyond. I’m excited to be part of Atlas 3! Happy birding!

Region 36 - Algoma

Region 37 - Marathon

Region 38 - Thunder Bay

James Barber – I am always happiest when I’m outside, and bird everywhere that I go. A chance sighting of a Black-crowned Night Heron in the creek behind my place while studying at University of Waterloo was the bird that made me realize that there were many more amazing birds than I was aware of. My passion for birding increased exponentially over the years and led to work as an Environmental Consultant. I now have over a decade of experience in managing and conducting biological surveys across Ontario on a range of resource development projects in the renewable energy, mining and forestry sectors. My work is focussed in Northern Ontario where Species at Risk studies, including countless breeding bird surveys, are a big part of my work. Some of my volunteer pursuits include breeding bird surveys, guiding bird hikes and contributing to eBird as the Regional Reviewer for Thunder Bay. I particularly enjoy birding remote areas as you never know what you might find. The challenge of bird photography adds another exciting element to birding for me. This will be my first Atlas and I look forward to exploring new areas and interacting with more of the birding community.

Region 39 - Kenora

Danielle Gough – Despite growing up in Windsor-Essex and spending every summer in Point Pelee National Park, I didn’t get into birding until my undergraduate degree. I have my ornithology professor, Dr. Dan Mennill, to thank for passing on not only his knowledge but his passion for birds to me. I completed my Masters in Environmental Science from Trent University studying the effects of ambient noise on the song structure of Pacific Wrens on Vancouver Island. I have been fortunate that my work as a biologist with Parks Canada, MNRF, and with private industry, over the past 10 years has allowed me to bird in many of Canada’s provinces and territories. I am excited to co-coordinate this bird atlas for the Kenora Region with my husband, Devin Turner and looking forward to early mornings exploring the area.

Devin Turner – I began birding as a teenager though it wasn’t until my 20s that I began to take it seriously. I have birded across the country in all different habitats, from temperate rainforest to arctic tundra. My favorite aspect of birding is observing behaviour and understanding how life history may affect where and when a bird may be found. I began birding on the shores of Lake Ontario, and now I spend most of my time scoping out wetlands and enjoying Northwestern Ontario’s pine forests. I am looking forward to the opportunity to meet and working with other birders from across the Kenora Region.

Region 40 - Rainy River

Bob Saunders – Although I’ve always been interested in birds, I didn’t really begin to bird more seriously until the early 90’s when my kids were quite young and walked slowly. It was easy to listen and sneak a few looks through the binoculars while walking with them. But it wasn’t too long before they were calling out to me to hurry up. Now I get to walk with my grand kids and the cycle has repeated itself. I don’t pretend to be an expert birder and never will be, but it is an activity I love and will never tire of. My favourite place to bird is where I happen to be at the moment and my favourite bird is the one that I am looking at right then. They are all beautiful in their own way. This will be my first Atlas. I haven’t the faintest idea what I’ve gotten myself into, but am looking forward to it, nevertheless. Perhaps after five years of intense birding I may even become a bit better!

Region 41 - Timiskaming

Roxane Filion – When I first spotted a flock of White-winged Crossbills in our yard over a decade ago and watched them feed on spruce cones, I was awestruck! I had to get field guides and learn more about all the amazing bird species in the Timmins area where I live. I love observing and documenting birds during all seasons in different habitats, and I really enjoy sharing my passion with others during bird walks. It is a real privilege to be part of the dedicated Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas team of regional coordinators and to work together with others to collect data that will make an impact on bird conservation. I hope many birders will get the chance to travel north at least once during the Atlas’ peak breeding seasons to experience atlassing in northern Ontario where every chorus of bird songs at dawn in the boreal forest is an unforgettable event to witness.

Bruce Murphy – As a grade 6 student I went to an outdoor education centre where I saw a Black -capped Chickadee banded, at that moment I was hooked. Years later after obtaining my banding permit and with a great deal of help we launched the Hilliardton Marsh Research and Education Centre. Since then we have banded over 100,000 birds and have enjoyed meeting thousands of visitors many of which have been grade 6 students. I am excited to be part of the third Atlas and discovered after we participated in the second Atlas that many of the findings lead to local conservation initiatives such as Tree Swallow nesting box trails and being a hub in the motus wildlife tracking network. I am hoping that participating in the Atlas will be a great way to meet more birders at the Hilliardton marsh and to develop more habitat to help species that the third Atlas may identify in need in our area.

Region 42 - Cochrane

Rhonda Donley – My Grandma Donley had a very busy feeder setup at her farm, and whenever she had seen something new at her feeder we dutifully looked for it while visiting. Sadly I didn’t catch the birding “bug” myself until I was in my mid-20s, a couple of years before she died. It was trying to identify a strange new bird that had suddenly appeared in big numbers at our feeders in the city that got me hooked. (BTW, it was House Finches, which had been introduced to the Eastern half of the continent through the pet trade). It’s hard to believe that was nearly 30 years ago. Since then I’ve worked or volunteered on numerous bird-related projects for a few bird observatories, Bird Studies Canada, Point Pelee National Park, the Nature Conservancy, and other environmental organizations, including the previous Atlas. I moved to Cochrane, Ontario in 2014 and am working on getting good enough to do point counts in the boreal forest. I am excited about the possibility of confirming breeding for species that weren’t found during the previous Atlas.

Ken and Angie Williams – We began birding in the early 1990’s and soon joined the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club. We got involved in the second Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas and contributed in several counties including back country atlassing in Algonquin Park and the Webequie Reserve. We also participated in the following Manitoba Atlas by canoe on the Bloodvein and Grass Rivers. When not atlassing, we keep involved in projects such as Breeding Bird Surveys, Aerial Insectivore and Ontario Nocturnal Owl surveys. When we retired from teaching, we moved north to where we always dreamed of living, where we can bird the boreal forest every day. We both agree that our favourite bird song is the Winter Wren and we are very excited about serving in the upcoming Atlas.

Region 43 - Hudson Bay Lowlands

Rod Brook – I have always been interested in birds and all things in the natural world. I enjoy watching birds but I really enjoy trying to figure out those elusive little guys quietly hiding in the shadows. Predictably, being a waterfowl guy, my favorite as a group are the ducks but the king eider makes my heart beat faster. Wetlands fascinate me and are my favorite place to bird. This will be my first Atlas and my main role will be ensuring that Atlas efforts in the Hudson Bay Lowlands are successful.

Mike Burrell – I’ve been birding for as long as I can remember, having been introduced to birds and nature by my parents as a kid outside Waterloo. During atlas 2 we had a “family square” near home but I also atlassed elsewhere including Algonquin and Charleston Lake. I’ve always been interested in community science and love having “excuses” to go birding. I’ve been lucky to study and work on many bird-related projects around the province and have a special fondness for working in remote areas. I coordinate eBird and Christmas Bird Count quality control in Ontario and am a member of the Bird Specialist Subcommittee for COSEWIC. My current work with the Natural Heritage Information Centre (OMNRF) focuses on keeping track of rare species – where they are and how they’re doing, so I’m especially excited to see all the new information the atlas reveals.

Region 44 - Big Trout Lake

Region 45 - York

Bruce Brydon – A visit to Florida as a five-year-old was the genesis of my interest in birding. All those exotic herons and egrets – wow! My whole family was always interested in birds. Two aunts frequently took my brother and me to see the wintering ducks on the Toronto lakeshore and to their summer places to see what could be found there. I was surrounded by Peterson Field Guides because my father sold them throughout eastern Canada for the publisher. I have been birding long enough to be able say that as a teenager I enjoyed in springtime hikes at Point Pelee led by Jim Baillie himself. I consider Gerry Bennet to have been a mentor in discovering the species of York Region and “surrounding area.” I have worked on several squares throughout the three atlases and am excited to see what changes in species distribution have occurred since 1981. I have lived in York Region since 1974 but bird wherever I am.

Frank Pinilla – A love of nature grew at a young age through family trips across North America by car. Looking for that next “animal” (mammals mainly) around the bend was where it all started. At the age of 10 I received my first field guide “The Golden Guide”, but true birding didn’t start till much later. I saw birds while out on family trips but didn’t go searching specifically. That path started in 1993, with a spring/rainy day trip to Cranberry Marsh in Whitby – what a sight! All those ducks, I will never forget it, bins fogged up, standing in a steady rain, seeing Wigeon, Gadwall, Shoveler, Ruddy Duck, Wood Duck, Ring-necked Duck, all in their spring colours – it was an eye-opener for me. Trips have taken me to Peru, Ecuador, family trips in my youth to Colombia (when I wasn’t a birder yet), Kenya, Tanzania, Mexico, Belize, Europe and S Korea. None of these were birding trips but all were incredible for the birds I did see. Nothing takes me away like losing myself in birding, even locally.

Region 46 - Durham

Geoff Carpentier – I started birding when I was 13 when I lived in northern Ontario. This led to a lifelong passion that was nature focused, both vocationally and avocationally. I have never looked back and have birded around the world on all 7 continents. I find birding is a passive way to know and appreciate not only birds but all flora and fauna. While I’m out there I enjoy the learning and teaching aspects as I interact with other naturalists. I have been involved in all three of the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlases and was an RC in Atlas # 1 and 2. I am excited to be able to share in this incredible Citizen Science project that will lead to important scientific studies on the health of North American birds and the environment. If I had to choose a favourite Ontario bird, I think it would be the Scarlet Tanager. I’ve always been a sucker for pretty birds and what is prettier than a tanager?

Glenn Coady – I have been birding for 52 years, after first experiencing an impressive spring passerine fallout in a Toronto ravine at age seven. I participated as an atlasser in the first Atlas across southern Ontario. I devoted much time to the second Atlas, serving as Regional Coordinator for Toronto, and was fortunate to have time to provide 6300+ hours of atlas coverage, to submit data from every one of the Atlas regions, eventually supplying breeding evidence for 274 species across Ontario. What I like most about birding is that it can be done anywhere, alone or with groups of friends, and that persons of any skill level can make a contribution. My favourite bird species is the Snowy Owl and not surprisingly my favourite habitat is the tundra. I am excited to look for new breeding species for Durham Region, the Greater Toronto Area and across Ontario in the upcoming Breeding Bird Atlas.

Region 47 - Wellington

Marlene Paibomesai – My introduction to birds came at a young age courtesy of my mom. She has always had a passion for birds, just like my grandfather, and as I grew older I have taken on this passion as well. In 2016, I suffered a concussion while playing hockey. Trying to find peace, I turned to birds and bird watching to spend time outdoors. Since then, birds have become a routine part of my life. What I like most about birding is the ability to connect with nature and getting out to explore new places. My favourite species is the White Throated Sparrow, that minor key song always puts a smile on my face. I am excited to see how the Ontario Breeding Bird Project Altas-3 differs from Atlas-2. I am also always in awe of the citizen science community that surrounds birds.

Dan MacNeal – I’ve been interested in birds and the outdoors as long as I can remember. I guess as a child I started as a feeder watcher trying to identify the birds at my grandparents feeders with their old field guide. It wasn’t until I started using eBird about 10 years ago that I really started seriously birding and exploring my region. I work in Dufferin County and live in Wellington County so have done the majority of my birding in those areas. A couple years ago I joined the eBird review team for Ontario and now review Dufferin and Wellington County records. A couple of my favourite places to go birding are Luther Marsh and the Mansfield Mulmur area. This will be my first Altas and I really look forward to getting to know the birds in my region better and exploring some new areas.

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