Yukon Bird Observatories

Ben Schonewille (Observatory Manager) and Visitors at Teslin Lake Bird Observatory Fall 2010.

There are two official Yukon Bird Observatories in the Yukon, and one unofficial Bird Observatory. McIntyre Marsh Bird Observatory operates only in the spring, and is mainly used for public education on local Yukon bird life and migratory birds. Teslin Lake Bird Observatory is one of the official Bird Banding Observatories in the Yukon and started operating in 2008. This observatory is only operational in the fall due to Teslin Lake’s high water levels. It opened this year on July 22nd, and will close sometime in late October. The closing date depends on bird migration and weather conditions. If cold weather or snow sets in then this observatory will close a little bit early. The McIntyre Marsh and Teslin Lake Bird Observatories have Ben Schonewille as the manager. Albert Creek Bird Observatory is the Yukon’s oldest of the three observatories. In 2001 it officially started operating. Albert Creek Bird Observatory operates in both the spring and the fall, making it a very important site for data on migratory birds in the Yukon. This year it was open from April 23rd to June 7th, and then from July 23rd to September 11th. The observatory manager for Albert Creek is Ted Murphy-Kelly. All observatories are open to the public, and visitors are welcome anytime during the migration seasons. People are always welcome to volunteer at the observatories. Because Albert Creek Bird Observatory is located just outside of Watson Lake, about 5 hours away from Whitehorse, the Bander-in-Charge most often finds that there is a lack of help when help is most needed. Teslin Lake Bird Observatory is located on the shore of Teslin Lake, two hours outside of Whitehorse. It is accessed by walking down to the shore through the Teslin Lake Campground. McIntyre Marsh is located down Fish Lake Road just outside of Whitehorse. If you would like to volunteer or have any questions concerning McIntyre Marsh or Teslin Lake Bird Observatories, then please contact Ben Schonewille at teslin.bird.banding@gmail.com. For any questions concerning Albert Creek Bird Observatory then please contact Ted Murphy-Kelly at tedmurphykelly@nothwestel.net. Ted is also the person to contact if you are interested in volunteering at Albert Creek Bird Observatory. You can find out what is happening at the Yukon Bird Observatories through the spring and fall by following their blog: http://yukonbirdobservatories.blogspot.com. Also check out Friends of McIntyre Creek, a new blog I found: http://friendsofmcintyrecreek.blogspot.com. Thank you for supporting the Yukon Bird Observatories!

Ben Schonewille: Manager of McIntyre Marsh and Teslin Lake Bird Observatories (Left).
Ted Murphy-Kelly: Albert Creek Bird Observatory Manager.

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