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Timmins hosts bird-watching convention

People from various parts of Ontario are in Timmins to participate in the annual Ontario Field Ornithologists Convention.

It is only in recent years, that the conventions had a northeastern Ontario component. Last year, it was held in Smooth Rock Falls.

"We live stream the programs in the evening, we have our own dinners and our own trips during the day and I think it's really taking off," said Angie Williams, the group’s membership director – who lives in Smooth Rock Falls.

Sue Milks, from Ottawa, said she and her husband wanted to visit a new place and decided to make the drive to Timmins.

“It gets us out in nature and away from the everyday life so for an opportunity to get out with like-minded people who all are really good guys and girls and it’s a community," she said.

The Ontario Field Ornithologists is a group dedicated to promoting the appreciation, knowledge and conservation of Ontario's bird species. The convention includes guided bird hikes and learning opportunities.

Williams said the best way to find birds is to look around in the trees and listen for their songs.

On this particular day, she heard and counted 67 American pipits.

“They’re migrating," said Williams.

"They breed up in northern Canada and they’re coming down for the winter and the record keeping that’s involved is important for monitoring the environment and knowing how birds are a really good indicator of the health of the environment overall."

"I’ve been really pleased with the number of birds that we’ve seen; different species,” said Milks.

“I love how enthusiastic the group has been about seeing everything."

While many of the participants have bird-watching gear such as binoculars, organizers said it is not necessary to go out and buy anything in order to enjoy bird-watching.

The convention wraps up on Sunday with more local guided walks and anyone is welcome to take part. Top Stories

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