Rocky Point Bird Observatory (RPBO) began in 1994 as a pilot project of the Canadian Wildlife Service and local volunteers to monitor neotropical passerines (songbirds) in coastal British Columbia. In February 2000 a board of directors formed a society to manage the observatory. The RPBO is a member of a national network of 25 migration monitoring stations with Bird Studies Canada (BSC) from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland. The site is located in rural Metchosin, a 45 minute drive southwest of Victoria on the grounds of the Department of National Defence's Rocky Point Ammunition Depot.
Overlooking Juan de Fuca strait, the unique geography and mixed forest here at the extreme southern end of Vancouver Island attracts both migrants and vagrant bird species. The monitoring operation covers an area about 9 square kilometres. During migration, RPBO is witness to impressive numbers of songbirds, vultures, raptors, and seabirds. A remarkable 303 species have been recorded for the site. In addition, over eighty species breed (or are suspected of breeding) in the area. Approximately 3000 birds and between 55 to 64 species are banded at RPBO each year (more than 48,000 birds of 96 species have been banded since 1994). RPBO's primary banding season runs from mid-July through October.
Region of focus:
Volunteer opportunities available:
Description of volunteer opportunities:
RPBO has several volunteer opportunities which run during different times of the year:
- Passerine Migration Monitoring (runs from July 21 to October 18)
- Hummingbird Project of BC (runs from March to July at various locations throughout BC)
- Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) (runs from May 30 to August 15)
- Nocturnal Owl Monitoring (runs from September 15 to October 31)
In addition, there are other activities which continue behind the scenes throughout the year. These include:
- Community Education (workshops, courses, school programs)
- Community Events (displays, presentations)
- Scientific Research
- Specimen Preparation
- Data management