What We Do
Ontario Field Ornithologists (OFO) is dedicated to the study of birds in Ontario. It was formed in 1982 to unify the growing numbers of field ornithologists across the province and to provide a forum for ideas and information among its members, who now number over 1,000. OFO was incorporated in 1987. All donations to OFO (not including annual membership fees) are tax deductible and help to further field ornithology in Ontario.
The objectives of OFO are
- To promote the appreciation of Ontario’s birds
- To disseminate information relating to the status, identification, distribution, ecology and behaviour of Ontario’s birds
- To encourage field studies of Ontario’s birds
- To adjudicate records of rare birds and to maintain an official list of Ontario birds
- For the objects aforesaid, to carry on printing and publishing and selling and distributing literature
- To advocate and act towards conserving birds and their habitats
Ontario Birds and OFO News are OFO’s publications
Each is published three times a year and included with your OFO membership. Ontario Birds documents new information on the birds of the province and includes notes and articles about their status, distribution, identification and behaviour, as well as the Annual Report of the OBRC. OFO News features short articles, announcements, site guides, bird artists, field trip reports and OBRC updates.
OFO Field Trips visit some of the best birding spots in Ontario
Long Point, Kingston, Carden Alvar, Algonquin Provincial Park, Presqu’le Provincial Park, the Niagara River, Fisherville, Manitoulin Island, Rondeau Provincial Park, Kingston, Leslie Street Spit, Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area, Bruce Peninsula. The list grows and changes all the time. Trips with expert leaders emphasize field identification for both novice and experienced birders.
Ontario Bird Records Committee (OBRC) is a committee of OFO that maintains the official Ontario Bird Checklist
It publishes a Review List of species for which documentation is requested.
ONTBIRDS, is OFO’s electronic mailing listserv
It notifies birders of interesting Ontario bird sightings.
OFO arranges special publications
Examples are Ornithology in Ontario (1994) and An Index to Ontario Birds (1998). Information on how to purchase these and other products such as cards and apparel featuring the OFO logo can be found in the Sales section.
Each fall, OFO holds an Annual Convention
The venue is a centre within easy access of most members. Activities include guest speakers, field trips, birding displays and a social gathering.
Now more than ever, each one of us needs to be the voice for Ontario’s birds. Many of Canada’s bird species are in steep decline. For example, aerial insectivore populations have plummeted by 59% in the last 50 years (see http://nabci.net/wp-content/uploads/2019-State-of-Canadas-Birds-1.pdf). Without change this decline is likely to continue. We encourage everyone to add their voice the growing chorus of concerned citizens. OFO is attempting to add its voice by advocating for the non-partisan conservation of Ontario’s birds and their habitat. This will be effected by:
- financially supporting conservation efforts when fiscally able to do so
- keeping OFO members informed of the conservation issues that affect Ontario’s birds
- lending our support and advocating as a larger group to conservation efforts
Recent projects that we have helped support include such diverse projects as: the funding for additional land purchases in the Carden Alvar; advocating for the protection of the beach at Ashbridges Bay in Toronto; and reporting on Ontario’s controversial introduction of a “hunting” season for the Double-crested Cormorant.
If you have a non-partisan conservation project you would like to highlight or receive funding for please contact conservation@OFO.ca.