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ABOUT THE PIPITS

The Pipits is an inclusive group of people with varying levels of experience and knowledge in the field of ornithology - with a focus on bird watching which we call birding. While our interests focus on birds, we also find opportunities to learn about anything else we find in the wild spaces such as plants, insects, animals, landscapes, etc. We tend to take a team approach to learning, sharing knowledge with each other, pondering difficult identifications together, and sharing our love of nature in a wonderful social environment.

Pipit outings typically run weekly on Sunday mornings. We’ve been running most weeks since our inaugural outing that took place on June 2 2019. There were several times when the outings were suspended due to COVID restrictions, and occasions when I am not able to lead the group due to other commitments, but I would estimate that we have at least 3 outings a month.

We go to many different locations, mostly in the Hamilton/Burlington and nearby surrounding areas, but have also made road trips that have taken us to places including Long Point, Rock Point, and even Algonquin, and the Carden Alvar.

The group is coordinated by me, Colleen Reilly. I'm not an expert birder by any means. I took several ornithology courses in my twenties at the University of Toronto, and the Royal Ontario Museum, and birded casually for a few years, but then life took over and somewhere along the way I lost my binoculars and forgot about birds.

In 2018 I joined the Hamilton Naturalist Club, and began attending outings, bought a new pair of binoculars, and rediscovered birds! Since then, birding and bird photography have been an encompassing interest.

In addition to myself, I try to bring in special Guest outing Leaders from time to time. These folks tend to bring many years of experience with them.

The Pipits has a virtual presence as well, with Zoom meetings, called Virtual Walks, every fourth week of the month Wednesday evening. These meetings happen between 7-8:30pm, and again typically run on the fourth Wednesday evening of each month. During these meetings, we share photographs, discuss identification, talk about current issues in the bird world, and just in general have a lovely chat. They are very casual meetings, and everyone is welcome, even to keep their cameras and microphones off and just watch and learn.

I also send out emails that I hope are helpful to folks in building their knowledge and acquaintance with birds. I try to send out a monthly newsletter that includes outing reports about the month's trips. This typically contains a list of the birds we've seen, which is also added to eBird so that our group contributes to Citizen Science on a weekly basis. I include in each outing report, either embedded photos, or a link to a file of photos from the outing, that has the identification of each bird in the photo. 

Thanks for taking the time to visit this website, and I hope you will consider joining the group!

Colleen Reilly

(Pipit Leader and Outings Coordinator)

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