OFO’s Rare Bird Ambassadors

OFO’s Rare Bird Ambassador plan is about empowering Ontario birders with the tools and resources needed so that they can coordinate with property owners to ensure the best outcomes for all parties.

When a rare bird appears on private property or public property where access and/or crowd control may become an issue, careful planning is required to ensure that the owner/host/property manager, birders, photographers and the bird all have a positive experience.

The goal is to promote positive relations between landowners, birders, and photographers, ultimately resulting in happy people and happy birds. Birders can still decide if they want to share sightings or not; we just hope that this makes the decision easier and spreads out the workload related to managing rare bird observations.

Find out more about this exciting program at: Finding Birds / Rare Bird Ambassadors

What to do if you have found a rare bird? Instructions for landowners and birders

Want to be a Rare Bird Ambassador? You don’t have to belong to OFO.

Find out more about being a Rare Bird Ambassador

Register to be a Rare Bird Ambassador

Photo Credit: Marsh Sandpiper by Matt Parsons

Recent Trips

There are recent trips reports for Killbear Park, Cochrane, Moosonee, Rotary Parkway, Peterborough, Glen Morris and Palgrave, Beeton on the current trip reports page.

2023 Anual General Meeting, Peterborough, Ontario

OFO’s 2023 Convention and AGM will take place in Peterborough, Ontario in September.

We invite you to read the AGM materials package (here) that includes:

  • Jeff Skevington’s President’s Message
  • the Treasurer’s Report and 2022 financial statements
  • minutes from the 2022 AGM
  • Board of Directors summary
  • write-ups on all of OFO’s activities (membership, conservation, outreach, fundraising, publications, OBRC, young birders, webinars, trips, EDI, Ontbirds, and public communications and all things done to serve our membership and the birding community!)

OFO Birding Buddies

We are excited to introduce OFO Birding Buddies! Do you ever travel to parts of the province that you are not familiar with and wish that you could talk to local birders to get their advice on how to bird the area? Or even better, find someone local to go birding with? OFO Birding Buddies will provide you with contact info for OFO members across Ontario who are willing to provide you with that advice or take you out birding. When you join or renew your OFO membership this year, you’ll have the option being a part of OFO Birding Buddies by providing your general location, contact info, and a short description of the assistance you’re able to provide for other OFO members that are visiting your area.

Login here to find your OFO Birding Buddies, update your profile, donate, and register for field trips.

OFO Birdathon 2023 trip report

The OFO Big Day Birdathon took place this year on May 22, 2023. Our four celebrity young birders, Rowan Keunen, Max Segler, Piper Smith, and Liam Thorne, decided to do a county Big Day and chose Norfolk as the county to do it in. They recently published an account of their trip report, which summarizes the results of their all-out, 24-hour rush to find as many species as possible.

Many thanks to our Birdathon supporters. The 2023 Birds Canada Birdathon effort raised funds for OFO’s Young Birders Program and to support bird research and conservation through Birds Canada. Please note that donations can still be made, and all proceeds will go to the OFO Young Birders program.

Two ways to donate! Tax receipts will be issued for amounts over $20.

Canada Helps: https://www.canadahelps.org/me/6NJzbSN

Birds Canada: https://www.birdscanada.org/you-can-help/birdathon then search for OFO’s Celebrity Birders

Link to trip summary: http://wp.ofo.ca/norfolk-county-big-day/

OFO Conventions 2023

Peterborough (Sep 22-24)

(Register Now: Peterborough Registration)

  • Friday September 22: Field Trips
  • Friday evening: Birds & Beer Event with Buffet Dinner, Healthy Planet Arena, 911 Monaghan Rd, Peterborough, K9J 5K5
  • Saturday September 23: Field Trips
  • Saturday evening: Dinner, AGM, Certificates of Appreciation, Distinguished Ornithologist Bruce Di Labio, Keynote Speaker Stu Mackenzie
  • Sunday September 24: Field Trips


Please check the website under “Events” and “Where to Stay” for accommodations! Note: the registration deadline is August 21 for most listed locations, there will be no price break after August 21.

Volunteers Needed for Peterborough Convention:

We are currently looking for 1-2 volunteers to assist with the upcoming OFO Convention in Peterborough.  Tasks may include selling raffle tickets, helping to organize vendor tables, help with set up and take down, help with registration etc.

In addition, we are looking for one volunteer to join the Convention committee and take the lead on organizing Vendor/Display tables as well as securing donations for the raffle table for future conventions. 

If you are interested in volunteering for either of these roles, please contact volunteer@ofo.ca

OFO Convention Northern Edition –

Timmins (Sep 22-24)

(Register Now: Timmins Registration)

  • Friday September 22: Field Trips
  • Friday evening: Birds and Beer Event live streamed from Peterborough, with dinner at The Fishbowl Restaurant, 942 Riverside Dr., Timmins (participants are responsible for their own dinner and beverages).
  • Saturday September 23: Field Trips
  • Saturday evening: Dinner at Collège Boréal, 395 Theriault, Timmins (the AGM, Certificates of Appreciation; Distinguished Ornithologist Bruce Di Labio, Keynote Speaker Stu Mackenzie will be livestreamed from Peterborough)
  • Sunday, September 24: Field Trips

Volunteers Needed for Timmins Convention:

We would like volunteers for the following roles:

  • Approach local organizations to ask for donations for our Welcome Packages and for door prizes, and make arrangements to pick up donated items.
  • Compile an official bird checklist from our convention trips, and share that with the convention folks “down south.”
  • Pick up food for the Saturday banquet.
  • ***We also still need a couple trip leaders.

No doubt other needs will come up, so anyone who would like to simply make themselves available to help out will be appreciated.

Volunteers for the Timmins convention can reach out to Angie Williams at aw8675334@gmail.com.

Call for Nominations for Board of Directors

OFO’s Board of Directors has 13 members. The 3-year term of one of the directors, Mike Burrell, ends this year. While Mike has informed the Board that he would like to stay on for another 3-year term, the Board is obligated to accept other nominations.

If you would like to nominate yourself or someone else to serve on the Board, please submit your nomination to president@ofo.ca no later than September 22, 2023. OFO’s membership will be asked to vote on this at the Annual General Meeting on September 23, 2023.

Cheat Sheets for Birding I.D.

After taking a 101 Birding course in 2019 with Anthony Kaduck, newbie bird nerd Jenny Newton initially had difficulty identifying small birds because she just didn’t know the differences between sparrows, warblers and others.

So she decided to create a Perch Bird Cheat Sheet for Ontario birds sorted by colour and size. It worked for her!! Today, there are 17 cheat sheets of Ontario birds (e.g. ducks, owls) all with photos sourced from Macaulay Library available for both learning and as a refresher.

Just follow this link to download them.

Enabled Birding

Help make birding for EveryBody!

Ontario Field Ornithologists and Birds Canada, with the help of Toronto Ornithological Club, and have teamed up to create an interactive map featuring the accessibility details of nine great Ontario birding sites.

Click here for more detail and the latest update. 

OFO is generously sponsored by

Ontario Field Ornithologists © 1984. All photographs on the site © the photographer.