About Us

The Nova Scotia Bird Society has been a focus for birders in this province for 60 years. Serving about 600 members, we have much to offer anyone interested in wild birds. Browse through our web site for a sample of what we do, and feel free to send us e-mail if you would like more information.

WHAT WE DO… (updated October 2017)

The Nova Scotia Bird Society (NSBS) is a registered charitable organization (RN 873023550 RR0001) that promotes the study and conservation of wild birds in Nova Scotia. Since its establishment in 1955, the NSBS has grown into the largest single Natural History group in the province.

We are a not-for-profit organization that is run entirely by volunteers!

Your support is greatly appreciated! Memberships start at only $20.

Here are 32 EXAMPLES of the benefits of a membership and the impact it creates!

  1. Regular monthly meetings: Fellow birders can network with like-minded people, share information and drink bird-friendly coffee at regular meetings arranged throughout most of the year.
  2. Guided field trips: Field trips are organized and led in many parts of the province and are open to everyone. The trips are specially geared towards beginning birders to educate them about ethical birding and to inspire them to become life-long birders.
  3. Expert guest speakers: For each of the monthly meetings, an expert guest speaker is located and engaged to provide an “insider” look into a wide variety of birding-related topics. Our speakers have covered topics as diverse as How to Use eBird (Dominic Cormier); Eiders on Breeding Grounds (Rolanda Steenweg); Forestry Management (Donna Crossland); and Robie W. Tufts - His Life and his Legacy (Mark Elderkin)
  4. “Nova Scotia Birds” magazine: This acclaimed magazine is written, edited and distributed by the NSBS and provides an invaluable historical record of birds in Nova Scotia.Each magazine is 70-80 pages long with photos and detailed accounts of the birds observed in Nova Scotia during the preceding quarter of the year.
  5. Christmas Bird Counts: The data from this annual bird count is a vital source of information that depicts trends in bird populations over the years. The NSBS locates lead volunteers and gathers, collates and reviews data in each of the 33 areas in Nova Scotia. Over 1500 volunteers participate each year.
  6. Tourism: The NSBS supports tourism in our province by providing information to visiting birders about what birds they can see, where and when to look. At times, volunteer guides and field trips for visitors are arranged.
  7. Schools, garden clubs, scouts, guides, and many other special interests groups: Many types of groups reach out to the NSBS to ask for information on topics from identifying and attracting wild birds, to creating and conserving bird habitat to determining which bird species can be found in a specific region. People are engaged and educated by our presentations, slide shows and question-and-answer sessions.
  8. Government and NGO Advisory Boards and Committees: The NSBS is asked to be part of numerous consultations and working groups and provides advice, information and guidance on a range of issues affecting birds and bird habitat. For example, the NSBS has contributed to a number working groups addressing issues such as feral cats, Important Bird Areas, Piping Plover habitat management, parks and protected areas and land-management planning.
  9. Regional (volunteer) contacts: In-depth local information across the province is provided to birders and the general public through a network of contacts.
  10. Trade shows and conferences: The NSBS participates in several trade shows and conferences each year to provide information on birds and bird habitat, help with bird ID’s, and to talk to people about the importance of conservation.
  11. Seniors’ long-term care facilities: The NSBS is workingto establish and maintain feeding areas for the enjoyment residents at a number of long-term care facilities.
  12. Nova Scotia Rare Bird Alert: This alert system that tracks and distributes information about any unusual sightings of bird species or unusual numbers of birds is operated by the NSBS. Information is shared—anyone can sign up to be part of this alert system at no charge.
  13. Facebook: The NSBS (closed) Facebook group has over 9300 members(!), and is a place where many people get answers to bird-related questions and post helpful information about birds in Nova Scotia. The NSBS monitors and administers the site, managing a huge number of postings and member requests each day.
  14. Twitter: The NSBS account helps people acquire, promote and disseminate information about birds and conservation in Nova Scotia.
  15. Instagram: Through the NSBS Instagram account people are engaged by photographs of our local birds and a love of birds is fostered.
  16. Nature Nova Scotia: The NSBS is the largest group in this Federation of the Natural History groups in the province and we work to foster cooperation among naturalists and natural history societies in Nova Scotia.
  17. Nova Scotia Photo Guild: To promote and celebrate ethical bird photography, a NSBS trophy is awarded to the best bird photo of the year.
  18. Annual General Meeting: Each year, the NSBS organizes an AGM that is open to all members, for sharing information and networking with other birders. Each AGM is different—in 2016, interesting displays of mounted birds from the collection of the Museum of Natural History were showcased as part of this special wine and cheese event.
  19. Nova Scotia Migration Day count: The NSBS coordinates and compiles this annual count (May 14) to monitor bird population trends.
  20. Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration Blitz: As part of a 3-year study, the NSBS organized and coordinated the Nova Scotia portion of the tracking and monitoring.
  21. Species at Risk workshops: The NSBS participated in and contributed to various workshops held in Dartmouth, NS and Sackville, NB.
  22. Bird habitat survey: For a local golf course, a bird habitat study was conducted and improvements suggested.
  23. Nest box building workshops: The NSBS has run a number of workshops, provided the materials, and worked with groups of young people to help them learn how to make nest boxes.
  24. Field Trips for other organizations:: The NSBS has supported many local groups by providing leaders for many types of field trips. For instance, the NSBS has led trips for Young Naturalists, Halifax Adventure Seekers, Halifax Diverse (part of the Sierra Club), and the Learn 2 Camp program.
  25. Conservation Partnerships: The NSBS supports and works in partnership with many other bird-related conservation efforts (e.g. Piping Plover surveys, shorebird surveys, Otter Ponds Demonstration Forest bird surveys, Nature NS land bird surveys, Common Nighthawk surveys, many Bird Studies Canada initiatives, Chimney Swift surveys, waterfowl counts with NCC/BSC) to advance the work of conservation efforts and to increase our knowledge of birds.
  26. Listed Species: The NSBS has contributed information on listed species (bird species that the Federal Government has recognized as being of special concern, threatened, or endangered) to the Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre and the Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute, etc.
  27. Bird-friendly coffee. A 10% discount is offered to NSBS members at the Organic Earth Market in Halifax for Birds & Beans coffee.
  28. Appreciation Awards: To acknowledge, encourage and promote the excellent work in the field of bird research, birding, habitat mapping and conservation and the many other activities that contribute to the health of Nova Scotia’s ecosystems, the NSBS created its Appreciation Awards and its "Puffin of the Year" award.
  29. Land Protection: Nine NSBS properties were donated to the stewardship of the Nova Scotia Nature Trust and Ducks Unlimited in 2016. These island and mainland parcels will be protected forever as excellent natural habitats for birds, and other wildlife and plants.
  30. Research Funding: The NSBS has provided funding for important research with special attention to threatened and endangered species. A few examples include work on Foraging Ecology of Roseate Terns; Landbirds at Risk in Nova Scotia; Piping Plovers: Threats and Stewardship Efforts on NS Beaches; and Reducing Cat-related Bird Mortality.
  31. Media: As the voice of birding in Nova Scotia, the NSBS is called upon to provide information in many situations. Over the past few months, for example, the NSBS has been called upon to speak to the issue of trichomonosis and has provided 30 interviews to the media on just this topic alone.
  32. Website: The NSBS maintains and regularly updates this website, providing vast amounts of useful information on everything from binoculars to a list of winter birds seen in Nova Scotia.


Photo Credits

Special thanks to Richard Stern, Alix d'Entremont, Ron d'Entremont, Bruce Stevens and David Currie for use of their photo images throughout the website.

Home Page - Gray Jay - Alix d'Entremont
Home page - Cape Sable Island light - Ron d'Entremont
Home Page - Bohemian Waxwing - David Currie
Home Page - Fieldfare - Bruce Stevens
Banner -Shorebirds in Flight - Richard Stern

Memorandum of Association and By-Laws - Amended 2013

Click on this link to open or download a copy of our current Memorandum of Association and By-laws. By-laws



Ethics for Birders

This section is excerpted from Claudia Wilds's outstanding book Finding Birds in the National Capital Area (Smithsonian, 1992; available from the ABA).

1. Put the welfare of the bird first.

a. Do nothing that would flush a bird from its nest or keep it from its eggs or young.

b. Avoid chasing or repeatedly flushing any bird; in particular, do not force a tired migrant or a bird in cold weather to use up energy in flight.

c. Do not handle birds or their eggs unless you have a permit to do so.

d. Make a special effort to avoid or stop the harassment of any bird whose presence in the area has been publicized among birders. This stricture especially applies to the use of tapes and to the disturbance of nesting birds, and of vagrants and rare, threatened, and endangered species.

e. If you think a bird's welfare will be threatened if its presence is publicized, document it carefully and report its presence only to someone who needs to have the information (e.g., a refuge manager, an officer of the appropriate records committee, the editor of the appropriate journal). If you are not sure, discuss it with the manager of a rare bird alert or another experienced and responsible birder.

2. Protect habitat.

a. Stay on existing roads and trails whenever possible.

b. Leave vegetation as you find it; do not break it or remove it to get a better view, or trample marshland into mud.

3. Respect the rights of others.

a. Do not trespass on property that may be private, whether or not "No Trespassing" signs have been posted. Ask the landowner directly for access unless specific permission for birders to enter the area has been announced or published.

b. Do not enter closed areas of public lands without permission.

If you find a rare bird on land that is closed to the public, do not publicize it without describing the possible consequences of doing so to the owner and obtaining appropriate permission.

d. Stay out of plowed or planted fields and managed turf or sod.

e. By behaving responsibly and courteously to nonbirders at all times, help to ensure that birders will be welcome everywhere. Do nothing that may have the consequence of excluding future birders from an area.

f. When seeking birding information from others call only between 9 a.m and 9 p.m. (their time!) unless you know that your call will be welcome at that number at other hours.