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Public Event: Atlas-3 Square Bash at Mikisew Provincial Park

June 7 - June 12

Friday, June 7 to Wednesday, June 12 (but come for any portion of that)

Leaders: Kaelyn Bumelis

This Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas Square Bash is an event that brings volunteers together to camp and atlas over a few days, with a goal of covering key gaps in Atlas coverage. Meet and camp at Mikisew Provincial Park. Free park access and camping is provided to registered participants. Participants will camp in the park, and will be birding in small groups each day, covering squares in and around the park. This area is home to beautiful hardwood forests and wetlands, and Bald Eagles and Ospreys can often be seen on Eagle Lake. A rich diversity of warblers and other forest songbirds also nest in the area.

Who Should Come? Open to anyone collecting data for the Atlas. Camping is free for participants, but roofed accommodation is available locally and day-trippers are also welcome.

Type of Trip: Atlas Square Bash. Find out more about Square Bashes at: www.birdsontario.org/square-bashes/

Location and Directions: Mikisew Provincial Park is located near Highway 11, about 15 km from South River and 72 km from Huntsville. More information on the park is available at: https://www.ontarioparks.ca/park/mikisew.

Duration: June 7-12, but participants can come for any portion of that period. Each day, atlassing will begin at dawn and continue throughout the morning, weather permitting. Afternoons will be optional free time and evenings will involve planning for the next day and some crepuscular surveys.

Approximate Distance: At the discretion of participants. Will vary from atlassing in the campground to covering squares up to 50 km from the park.

Terrain: At the discretion of participants. Varies from flat roadsides and trails to rough and demanding off-road in some locations. Trail surface may vary from paved to mud. Canoeing and kayaking optional. 

Accessibility: Varied. Wheelchair accessible atlassing available in most squares. Persons with mobility issues can choose an appropriate terrain.

Washrooms: Available in the campground and in various locations while in the field.

What You Need to Know: OFO and the Atlas welcome all people who are interested in birds and birding and strive to create an inclusive, comfortable and enjoyable experience. Trip leaders are volunteers who generously offer their time to share their knowledge and passion for birds with others.

Beginner Birders: Most OFO and Atlas trips are suitable for beginner birders. Please provide information on your birding experience when you register and let the trip leader know if you are new to birding when you arrive. More info on the opportunities for beginner birders can be found here.

Code of Conduct and Code of Birding Ethics: Participants are expected to review OFO’s Code of Conduct and Code of Birding Ethics before the trip.

Transportation: All participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the field trip. Public transit information, if available, is included in the trip description.

Meeting Time: The initial get-together will be at 7 pm, June 7, in the Mikisew campground, but meetings will occur every evening. Please contact the trip organizers (atlas@birdsontario.org) if you are running late or cannot attend.

What to Wear: Wear sturdy footwear and dress appropriately for the weather, season and terrain. Long pants, rain gear, and rubber or waterproof boots are recommended as protection from the elements, ticks and other biting insects. In bright light, a hat with a large brim will make it easier to see birds.

What to Bring: Participants should be completely self-sufficient for eating, camping and birding. Please bring your ID and health card, food for the duration of the trip (groceries available locally). Sunscreen, bear spray, insect repellant and a topical insect bite treatment such as Afterbite or Benadryl are recommended. If you would like to use your own canoe or kayak or bicycle for atlassing, please bring them along – with all of the appropriate safety gear of course, and battery backup if possible.

Optics and Cameras: Please bring your choice of binoculars, optional scope and camera. Please contact the Atlas office in advance by email at atlas@birdsontario.org if you require loaner binoculars. We will do our best to provide a pair.

Leaving Early: Trip leaders understand that not everyone will be able to stay for the duration of the trip. Please inform the trip leaders of your plans when you register, and each day when at the event.

Rest Stops and Lunch Breaks: At the discretion of participants.

Safety and First Aid: Trip leaders may not be trained in first aid and cannot provide medical help in the case of an accident or administer medication. When driving, please follow the rules of the road. Exercise caution when parking on the side of the road and getting out of your car.

Accessibility: OFO and Atlas-3 aim to provide accessible birding trips which are welcoming and enjoyable for all. If you have any questions about the trip, or require accommodations, please contact atlas@birdsontario.org. Please allow a few days for a response.

Contact: Please email atlas@birdsontario.org if you have any questions or concerns.


Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas Partnership
View Organizer Website

FYIxON guided hike at Cedarvale, Nature Guardians Community Science activity © Melina Damian

To submit your public events for consideration, email Noah Cole at noahc@ontarionature.org. Please send well in advance and allow up to two weeks for posting. 
Events must be submitted by a member group or run jointly with Ontario Nature.