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‘Perfect place to learn Nova Scotia’s songbirds’

Birding
Birding - Submitted

Birding by ear workshop at Harrison Lewis Coastal Discovery Centre teaches participants to recognize bird songs

EAST PORT L’HEBERT – “The Harrison Lewis Coastal Discovery Centre is truly the perfect place to learn Nova Scotia’s songbirds by ear,” says Dr. Sarah Gutowsky. 
 
The centre is a birding hotspot in Nova Scotia, which is why Gutowsky is leading her second immersive birding-by-ear workshop here in June. 
 
According to Jessica Bradford, field station program and development manager with the centre, the region is well-known for birding and is located within an Important Bird Area (IBA)—an area that has been specially designated by Bird Studies Canada due to its international significance for conservation of birds and biodiversity. Additionally, the centre is close to several Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) Migratory Waterfowl Sanctuaries, located in Port Joli, Port Hebert and Sable River.
In the birding-by-ear workshop, participants will be immersed in the experience of learning everything they can about birds. 
 
While the focus will be to learn the basics of how to recognize the songs for common bird families, with a goal to learn 25 bird songs, there will be plenty of opportunities to also work on identification by sight as well and appreciate other local flora and fauna, says Bradford. 


 
“Participants will definitely be able to impress their friends on hikes through the woods after this with their new-found bird identification skills,” says Bradford. 
 
Gutowsky, who grew up in rural Ontario, completed her PhD at Dalhousie University in bird studies. She has experience studying birds and guiding expeditions all over the world, including Antarctica, Galapagos and Greenland. At press time, Gutowsky was reached aboard a ship, where she was acting as an ornithology guide, crossing the Atlantic from southern Argentina to Cabo Verde. 
 
The birding-by-ear workshop will take place from June 8 to 10, over three nights and two days at the Harrison Lewis Coastal Discovery Centre in East Port L’Hebert. The $325 fee covers two nights of accommodation, home-cooked meals, and in-the-field learning. 
 
“June is a fantastic time of year for this type of workshop, since participants will get to see and hear many migrant species who only live here temporarily,” says Bradford. 
 
The Harrison Lewis Coastal Discovery Centre, which aims to advance environmental conservation and sustainability through immersive education, is now finalizing its list of workshops and programs for the summer. Everything will be posted at harrisonlewiscentre.org. They are also looking to have people pitch their ideas to host workshops or retreats at the Centre in 2018. 
 
To register for the birding-by-ear workshop, other programs, or to pitch an idea, contact info@harrisonlewiscentre.org. 
 

More information: harrisonlewiscentre.org  

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