Kingston sits astride the Atlantic Flyway, a major migration route. Millions of birds travel through the area enroute to their breeding grounds, and then return again in the autumn as they head back to their wintering areas. This makes the area one of Ontario’s premier birding destinations, and the KFN membership includes many keen birders.
Kingston Field Naturalists supports the American Birding Association’s Code of Birding Ethics in accordance with KFN’s Sensitive Sightings Policy. KFN members follow the ABA Code of Birding Ethics and the Sensitive Sightings Policy.
Collecting Bird Data
Gone are the days of paper bird lists sent into a compiler who would create compendiums of the local birds. In recent years, the collection of bird data has migrated almost exclusively to eBird. To participate in the collection of bird data, please read about eBird below and start making lists!
“eBird is an online database of bird observations providing scientists, researchers and amateur naturalists with real-time data about bird distribution and abundance. eBird has been described as an ambitious example of enlisting amateurs to gather data on biodiversity for use in science.” (Source: Wikipedia)
The Kingston Field Naturalists is an enthusiastic supporter of eBird and uses the data for weekly, quarterly and annual reports on the birds in the Kingston Study Area.
KFN members who bird watch are encouraged to submit bird lists to eBird as it is currently the single most important source of bird information for the Kingston Study Area. There is an app available for your mobile phone that you can use to create and submit lists. If you are new to eBird or bird watching in general, and you would like to start submitting bird lists using eBird, please visit the eBird Help Center to get started.
Rare Bird Reporting Form
The Kingston Field Naturalists Rare Bird Committee would like to hear about any rare birds that you have seen. Please complete this form for any bird denoted with an (a) on the Check-list of the Birds of Kingston, Ontario.
KFN History of Bird Records
Kingston Field Naturalists (Kingston Nature Club prior to 1963) began collecting bird records in 1947. Originally filed by hand, KFN now collects the majority of records via eBird. These records include sight and banding observations, evidence of breeding birds, egg and brood dates, and other behavioural and circumstantial information. Ongoing projects of KFN continue to ensure that updated information is added to the database. These archives are rich with data that help paint a picture of the occurrence, abundance, and frequency of the 381 bird species known to have occurred in the Kingston Study Area.
This wealth of information led the late Helen Quilliam to write her book: History of the Birds of Kingston, Ontario, 2nd Edition, (1972, 210 pp). In order for her to judge the suitability of some of the records for inclusion in her book, she requested that a committee be set up. This was done and the committee eventually became the Rare Birds Committee in 1974. Subsequently, the Committee set the standard for the records included in Ron Weir’s Birds of the Kingston Region, (608 pp, 1989) and subsequent 2nd edition published in 2008. To this day, the purposes of the Committee are to:
(i) serve as the repository for information on specimen evidence, sight records and breeding status of the birds in the Kingston area;
(ii) stimulate written reports on appropriate sight records;
(iii) assess specimen evidence, sight record reports and breeding documentation; and
(iv) advise the KFN Executive on the preparation of checklists.