Birds and Trees Tour highlights importance of Toronto’s urban forest to migratory birds
(October 5, 2010 - Toronto, ON – For immediate Release) Today Mike Alkema, Certified Arborist, LEAF (Local Enhancement & Appreciation of Forests), Dr. Bridget Stutchbury, York University, and Brett Tryon, Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station (TTPBRS) Coordinator led a “Birds and Trees” tour of Tommy Thompson Park on the Leslie Street Spit to talk about the importance of Toronto’s urban forest to migrating birds. The tour began at Toronto and Region Conservation’s TTPBRS where Ms. Tryon conducted a bird banding demonstration and spoke about the important migration monitoring research she is undertaking.
“Through migration monitoring and research at TTPBRS and across Canada, long-term population and species trends are generated,” said Ms. Tryon. “These trends are good indicators of the quality of habitat in remote nesting and overwintering locations and also illustrate the importance of healthy migratory stopover locations like Tommy Thompson Park.”
Tommy Thompson Park has been recognized as a globally significant Important Bird Area (IBA) by Birdlife International for its importance to populations of nesting water birds, overwintering waterfowl and migratory species, and is an important component of Toronto’s urban forest.
“The research that we’ve been able to do on tracking bird migration patterns shows that Tommy Thompson Park plays a critical role in providing migratory birds a location to rest and feed,” said Dr. Stutchbury. “Preserving areas such as this, helps to ensure that migrating birds have the food resources and shelter to sustain them on their way to the boreal forest where they breed in the summer or to Central and South America where they overwinter.”
“Individuals can also play an important role in helping migrating birds,” said Mr. Alkema. “By taking advantage of LEAF's Subsidized Backyard Tree Planting Program residents help build the urban forest by planting native trees and shrubs on their property and increase the amount of natural habitat available for birds and other wildlife.”
Consumers also have an opportunity to help preserve bird habitat in Central and South America by purchasing such bird friendly products such as Birds and Beans coffee. These beans develop under the multi-tiered shade of more than 50 species of trees that provide food and shelter for a huge variety of migratory birds providing a real conservation benefit.