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

Registration is now open for the camp

We are pleased to announce that registration is now open for the 2024 Alan Wormington Memorial Camp for Young Birders. This year’s camp will be held from August 3rd – August 11th and will once again take place in Algonquin Park. The camp will include a short canoe and camping trip.

Space is limited to a maximum of 14 campers aged 13-17. Campers should have a keen interest in birds and natural history and should expect long days in the field.

Registration (but not payment) is required to be considered for the camp. The deadline for registration is March 5th. Please register on the ofo.ca website under Events/Event Registration. Please note that registration is not a guarantee of acceptance. OFO will review all applications when registration closes on March 5th and notify campers the following week.

Payment is required when acceptance is confirmed. The cost of the camp is $1,000. Donations to cover the true cost of $1,600 per camper are gratefully accepted. Bursaries may be available.

Please email youngbirders@ofo.ca for more information.

Statement on Safety

OFO is committed to fostering a safe and welcoming organization that is free of discrimination and harassment.
OFO’s 2023 statement on safety in the Ontario birding community can be found on the EDI webpage.

2023 Convention Highlights

OFO’s 2023 Convention and AGM took place in Peterborough in September, with a Northern edition in Timmins. Here are some highlights:

Read all about it!

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/

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.