March’s Awesome Ottawa award goes to Adam Smith and the Ottawa Bird Count, to support “Chirps, Tweets, and Trills,” a free birdsong identification course.
“The Ottawa Bird Count,” explains Adam, “is an environmental and educational organization that runs a volunteer-based bird survey in the city of Ottawa. Our volunteers survey birds in their neighbourhoods, and we store and analyze the data, making the results available to the public, conservation organizations, and city planners.”
“Participants in the Chirps, Tweets, and Trills course,” Adam continues, “learn to identify the birdsongs of Ottawa’s neighbourhoods. After the six classes, many participants can identify 70–100 species, just by their songs! We do not charge for the course because we want no economic barriers for people to learn more about the biodiversity of their neighbourhood.”
“Participants in the course,” says Adam, “start to realize that everywhere they go they can hear ten times as many bird species as they can see. They say things like: ‘I can’t believe I heard that bird singing in our park. I’ve never seen one. I had no idea such a beautiful bird lived in the city.’”
You can learn more about the free course, which runs over six Saturday mornings in April and May, on the Ottawa Bird Count website.
Adam is Coordinator of the Ottawa Bird Count.
Funded by Ottawa, ON (March 2014)