B4B—Backpacks for Birders
Want to go birding around Windsor but don’t have the right stuff?
In 2022, PIBO launched its Backpacks for Birders (B4B) program. With funding from TD Friends of the Environment and the Windsor Essex Community Foundation, we put together 22 backpacks filled with everything a budding birder needs for a day’s outing—a pair of Vortex or Bushnell binoculars, a binoculars harness from Pelee Wings, a Sibley Guide to the Birds of Eastern North America, Zeiss lens-cleaning spray and a lens-cleaning pen, a bird checklist for the Windsor area, and a list of local birding hotspots.
Backpacks, available in English, French, Spanish and Arabic, are available for borrowing from the Windsor Public Library. Some packs have been donated to the Pelee Island Public School, Caldwell First Nation, and the John McGivney Centre school for use in those communities. The school packs also include a bird feeder and two-year subscription to Cornell University’s Project Feeder Watch.
BIPOC for Birds
In 2022, with grants from the Windsor Essex Community Foundation and Nature Canada, PIBO hired two members of Windsor’s black, indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC) communities to develop five events to take place between January and May, aimed at introducing their families, friends, and communities to nature and birds.
Davina Sanjqly and Lakshimi Thaqruvai came up with fabulous ideas for five events to introduce young people and their families to the pleasures of birding.
So far this year they have held an online, Jeopardy-like bird quiz and brought friends and classmates together for a binge of bird-house building at Ford Test-track Park in Windsor (photo, right). In March they led a BIPOC youth birding hike through Malden Park; they organized an Earth Day event for April; and in May they are marking World Migratory Bird Day (May 14) in Malden Park and hosting a Victoria Day Mom & Daughter Picnic.
To learn more or join in, contact Suzanne Friemann at PIBO.
Also launched in 2022, PIBO’s Graeme Gibson Prismáticos Project, collects previously-loved binoculars in Canada and distributes them to schools and conservationists in Mexico, linking the breeding and wintering grounds of the migrating birds that pass through Pelee Island.