Graeme Gibson, the younger is the Founder and former Managing Director of Pelee Island Bird Observatory. From its inception in 2002 until 2017, Graeme was involved in all aspects of PIBO’s operations, but especially the migration monitoring. Young Graeme grew up as a keen birder with bird watching trips to Point Pelee with his family. He started his career as field ornithologist at Long Point Bird Observatory. During his experience as warden there, Graeme took part in the training of many young field ornithologists who now play an essential role in the avian research field. Before starting PIBO, he spent many years at other banding stations such as Rocky Point Bird Observatory and Thunder Cape Bird Observatory. These prior positions plus his keen interest and love of birdlife put him in a unique place to start a new observatory on Pelee Island. For 15 years, PIBO was fortunate to have Graeme at the helm of the Operations side of PIBO. His easy-going and friendly personality made it easy to attract volunteers, even if the conditions were quite rustic, especially in the early days. Eager to share his considerable knowledge on Ontario birds, soon there was a steady stream of bird lovers wanting to learn how to band with him as their teacher.
Moreover, Graeme’s wife, Sumiko, was one of those early volunteers! Graeme’s other talent is writing, and his unique literary upbringing certainly helped with creating professional and detailed accounts. Whether it was the biweekly migration reports, the annual report or his previous publications, PIBO was lucky to have such a natural writer as part of the team.
Graeme stepped down from PIBO in 2017 and now spends most of his free time watching and listening to the birds on Pelee Island. However, his experience and knowledge about birds are still important to us. He will continue to lead us in many ways to do meaningful work in protecting the birds on Pelee Island.