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Ornithology Field Expedition in Canada : From Point Pelee and Niagara Falls to the Arctic Tundra

Bio-214- Env 316 Ornithology Field Expedition in Canada : From Point Pelee and Niagara Falls to the Arctic Tundra.

This four weeks course is for students seeking adventure and understanding of the life  and migration of Birds in the face of Environmental and other Word Change. It is based in Toronto, Ontario and Churchill, Manitoba, the Polar Bear  and Breeding Bird Capital of the World.

The Aim of the course is to educate and develop an understanding of Ornithology, Bird Behaviour, Change in Distribution, Migration and associated Ecology. We will also examine related aspects of  Canadian culture and History and make it a fun course by expeditions to Niagara Falls and the Arctic Tundra and starting with a visit to the worlds tallest building high above Lake Ontario.

Field trips will be organized to:

  1. Niagara Falls including a trip on the famous Maid of the Mist boat which sails right up to the thundering water at the foot of the falls. You will be accompanied by Ducks, Geese and Gulls.
  2. Point Pelee National Park with Prickly Pear Cactus and an extraordinary variety of Bird life.
  3. Royal Ontario Museum, behind the scenes to see professional Ornithologists at work on Bird Skins.
  4. Wildlife Safari and see the massive American Buffalo grazing . Open country birds.
  5.  Ontario Science Centre Toronto.

At the end of the Second week we will fly to Winnipeg and north to Churchill Manitoba. Here the Canadian Boreal Forest and Muskeg reach their limit and Arctic Tundra takes over. Sometimes Polar Bears swim ashore and  student groups are accompanied by Canadian National Park Rangers and instructors armed with shotguns for protection.

On a scheduled tundra buggy trip across the barrens it is possible to see arctic foxes, bears and a profusion of arctic birds nesting. Trips to the Churchill river will show white Beluga Whales and Sea Ducks . This is one of the few places in the world where the rare Rossès Gull is known to nest and we will see Snow Geese and Canada Geese nesting. Lectures will be on Bird ecology, climate and Bird sociology. Historical trips will be made to the Hudson Bay Company fort Prince of Wales and to the Eskimo Museum.

Bring Binoculars or Spotting Scopes if you have them.

Warm clothing and rain clothing are critical as are rubber boot to knee height and mosquitoe and blackfly repellent. These may be purchased in Toronto

Evaluation will be on your field Notebook and  by written Report  on the course.

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