About OFO Rare Bird Ambassadors
OFO’s Rare Bird Ambassador plan is about empowering Ontario birders with the tools and resources needed so that they can coordinate with property owners to ensure the best outcomes for all parties.
The goal is to promote positive relations between landowners, birders, and photographers, ultimately resulting in happy people and happy birds. Birders can still decide if they want to share sightings or not; we just hope that this makes the decision easier and spreads out the workload related to managing rare bird observations.
You don’t have to belong to OFO to participate.
Being a Rare Bird Ambassador
As a Rare Bird Ambassador, you are making yourself available to be called into action should a rare bird turn up in your area. The goal is to have enough Ambassadors to cover all areas of the province assuming that not everyone will be available when needed.
Rare Bird Ambassadors will make contact with hosts of rare birds, help present possible viewing scenarios to them, and/or coordinate the viewing – sometimes by themselves and sometimes by recruiting other local birders and bird photographers to act as Ambassadors to help with crowd control or other site-specific duties where needed.
Another aspect of being a Rare Bird Ambassador is to communicate information about rare birds, when appropriate, to other Rare Bird Ambassadors or to the Ambassador panel if you are not able to attempt arranging access.
With the role comes responsibility. Finding out about a rare bird that isn’t public knowledge is a privilege, and Rare Bird Ambassadors are expected not to use the information they gain for personal viewing by themselves or their friends, unless it is in order to assess site logistics.
Please keep a bird’s presence confidential unless/until the landowner approves of a viewing plan.
As well, as a representative of the birding community you are expected to adhere at all times to OFO’s Code of Conduct and the Rare Bird Ambassadors Code of Conduct below.
Rare Bird Ambassador Code of Conduct
As a representative of the birding community you are expected to adhere at all times to OFO’s Code of Conduct.
All information is to be kept strictly confidential.
Do not use this as an opportunity to allow special access for your friends to see the bird.
Respect the process and the work of other ambassadors.
If you agree to help, you will have to drop everything and move quickly as birds don’t always stay for long.
The Ambassador panel can help you find alternates so that you don’t have to be on the hook for too long.