Thu. Feb 29th, 2024

Welcome to the September installment of “IBA in Provincial Parks,” presented by Ontario IBA Coordinator Amanda Bichel of Bird Studies Canada.

The current Important Bird and Biodiversity Area began as an area of ​​seven IBAs and is now a merged site with an additional area of ​​716 km2.

Tidewater Provincial Park and the end of Kesagami Provincial Park fit comfortably within our new IBA: Pei lay sheesh kow.

“Pei lay sheesh kow” means “an area where birds abound” in Cree. That couldn’t be more true!

Shorebird scale


This new IBA is designated for large congregations of shorebirds and waterfowl.

For shorebirds, it acts as a stopover point between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. For waterfowl, it is a resting area.

More than 25 species of shorebirds depend on James Bay to roost during their journey south in late summer and fall. This includes juvenile birds making their first migration.

In spring and autumn, many species of waterfowl gather offshore. Some, like the black grouse, do it to molt their flight feathers.

What species congregate in this IBA?

Shorebirds fly south

The table below highlights some of the impressive waterfowl populations that depend on the area.

Remember: IBAs like this are designated when 1% or more of a bird’s global or continental population regularly uses a site.

These are daily counts, making the season’s numbers even more staggering:

Species name Observed number Percentage of world population
Black Scoter 39,102 1.7
Brant 24,100 4.3
Hudsonian needle 3,295 4.7
Pectoral Sandpiper 1,584 2.5
red knot 6,200 5.6 *
White-rumped Sandpiper 35,000 3.1
See also  Birding in the Boreal Forest (Ontario Songbird Nursery)

*Percentage of North American population

Tidewater Provincial Park

Aerial view of the lake

Tidewater Provincial Park often attracts adventurous backcountry campers. Located between Moosonee and Moose Factory, Tidewater Provincial Park offers a last stop for people canoeing the Missinaibi or Abitibi Rivers.

The surroundings are fantastic to explore, but be aware that the Moose River tides can be unpredictable as they enter and leave James Bay. Tidewater is located on five islands and offers 10 backcountry campsites.

Just off the coast of the park, good fishing and wildlife viewing can be found. Lucky visitors may see a seal or the white back of a beluga whale!

So if you want a remote trip to the countryside, think about taking a trip to the park. If you’re a birdwatcher, you can volunteer at the James Bay Shorebird Project and help save birds during your visit.

Moose Cree First Nation support for new IBA

aerial view of the field

Moose Cree First Nation (MCFN) played a huge role in defining the new IBA by applying local knowledge about birds, habitats and land use. MCFN members are also monitoring the site as IBA caretakers.

Moose Cree First Nation, Nature Canada, Bird Studies Canada and Canadian Wildlife Services are working hard to designate this candidate site as a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network site.

DIFFERENT logosBird Studies Canada thanks the Ontario Trillium Foundation for generously supporting the Ontario IBA Program. To stay up to date with these monthly messages blogs, register for the Ontario OTHER Bulletin.