About OFO's Rare Bird Ambassador Program


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.

Birdwatching and bird photography have both become exceedingly popular in the last few decades and rare birds that show up in Ontario always generate a lot of interest.

When a rare bird appears on private property or public property where access and/or crowd control may become an issue, careful planning is required to ensure that the owner/host/property manager, birders, photographers and the bird all have a positive experience.

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.

What about owls?

Rare owls such as Burrowing Owls or Barn Owls fall under the same consideration as other birds treated here. If it is believed that they can be shared in a way that is not negative for the property owner or the birds, an attempt to share them can be undertaken. Potential ambassadors are encouraged to discuss owls with the Ambassador Panel though as sharing owl sightings is rarely simple.

Most Ontario owls aren’t rare but they elicit such a frenzy of interest that they deserve their own discussion.  For common owl species that will entice a large following, we can also attempt to use the ambassador approach. Local ambassadors can use various methods such as taping off an area to keep people back from a known roost site, setting observation schedules and providing information to educate viewers.

Do you want to be an Owl Ambassador?

If you want to try to take on a responsibility like this, you should give it some thought and brainstorm with the Ambassador Panel. OFO will consider creating informative signs about owl species that can be put up at select sites that are amenable to viewing.

For more information

Do you want to become a Rare Bird Ambassador?

  • Are you interested in becoming a Rare Bird Ambassador? Check out the Ambassadors information by clicking on the link at the top of this page. If you want to become a Rare Bird Ambassador, please register as a Rare Bird Ambassador.

You do not need to be an OFO member to be a Rare Bird Ambassador. OFO has created this program to help with open and fair access to rare birds for everyone.

For Landowners

  • Do you have a rare bird on your property? Click on the Finding a Rare Bird link at the top of the page and go to the "For Landowners section.

For Birders

  • Did you hear about a rare bird? Click on the Finding a Rare Bird link at the top of the page and go to the For Birders section.