To Study - Conserve - and Enjoy

Painted Turtles
Home Programs Sightings Links Sea Bird Project Hawk Project About Us
The Point Lepreau Bird Observatory

Most naturalists in the Province are aware of the activities at the PLBO, which was built in the fall of 1995 and started housing volunteers for four-hour sea watches in the spring of 1996. The building is situated at the very tip of Point Lepreau and provides a commanding 270-degree view of the Bay. Thousands of migrating seabirds as well as many passerines and raptors can be seen on a good day, although visibility is very much dependent on weather conditions.

The purpose of activities is to identify all seabirds migrating through the Bay of Fundy near the Point in spring and fall and to record the species, numbers and pattern of movement. All the data taken during four-hour sessions over many weeks is entered into a database, along with information on tide, weather conditions and visibility so as much can be learned as possible about which birds occur and when. These data gathered over a number of years are a growing source of valuable information that was never before available. It could be very useful to help determine if certain seabird populations are increasing or decreasing, when to expect peak passage, and what might be the potential for damage to Eastern seabird populations in the event of a disaster such as a major oil spill.

The access road to the PLBO passes through property owned and controlled by NB Power's Point Lepreau nuclear generating station. For obvious reasons anyone entering must have "security-clearance" in advance, and this process could take up to two weeks. It involves a criminal record check by local police authorities. However, once a personal criminal record check has been done once, a volunteer does not have to repeat that process and can continue to visit in future years. It's really relatively painless.

Annual Reports


2005 Spring; the observation blind   

Sea Duck Migration Periods at the PLBO  

2014 marks the 19th year of the sea duck migration project at the PLBO. Spring monitoring will take place from March 15 to May 9. The fall migration period begins on September 17 and ends on November 18

If you have security clearance, you may sign up for morning sessions (8 am to noon) or afternoon sessions (noon to 4 pm). If nobody else has signed up for the next session, you may stay beyond your allotted time. You may volunteer for the same day every week or for single sessions. It takes about 48 hours to add an observer to the schedule.

A $10 travel subsidy is available per observation party and payable after December 1st.

If you do not have security clearance:
  1. Contact your local police force to find out how to obtain a “Criminal Record Check”. The requirements for the residents of Saint John can be found at this site.
  2. If your police department requires a letter from the PLBO, send an email to plbo@saintjohnnaturalistsclub.org, include the following information:
    • the name of the department to whom the letter should be addressed
    • the address of the police department
    • your name (first, middle and surname)
    • your full address, including city or town and postal code
    We will prepare the letter as a signed PDF and email it back to you so you can deliver it to them.
  3. After you receive the Criminal Record Check from your police department, send another email to request instructions on the next steps.

Once your name is on the list of volunteers with security clearance, you may sign up for observation sessions by sending a message to plbo@saintjohnnaturalistsclub.org.

The PLBO can comfortably seat three people.

Further Information

The Point Lepreau-Maces Bay region is recognized as an Important Bird Area by IBA Canada.

A report from IBA Canada is available from the IBA Canada site, or here (these open in a new window).

 

Information on the Black Scoter migration video, produced with the support of the SJNC, is also available from the IBA Canada site:

http://www.ibacanada.com/caf_nb03.html


The PLBO gratefully acknowledges funding received in 2011 and 2012 from:

Ducks Unlimited