Who we are and how we came into being all started in the early 1990s with a group of three enthusiastic birders and the seed of an idea. Why not take advantage of a phenomenon discovered by researchers – that Lesser Slave Lake and nearby Marten Mountain act as a natural barrier to migratory birds? This fact, described as the 'Point Pelee Effect,' means migrant birds avoid crossing the lake and veer to the east, funneling along the shoreline between the lake and Marten Mountain.
The idea was, of course, to create Canada's most northerly bird observatory, and in 1994, the Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory (LSLBO) came into existence.
The problem with volunteers and ideas, though, is that they usually don't quit. The bird observatory's location also made it a logical spot to collect critical information on the boreal forest, both in terms of the neotropical birds which spend the summers here and also of the great northern forest itself.
And, so the idea for a boreal centre took flight, in partnership with Parks & Protected Areas, Alberta Community Development.
Today that idea is reality. The Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation (BCBC) is the only educational and research facility in the world strategically located to study boreal birds on their breeding grounds. The BCBC offers 6,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor exhibits, interpretive programming, a gift shop and office space. It also provides research space and computer work stations for staff, volunteers, and visiting researchers and educators. A research laboratory and accommodation at The Nest are available for researcher use.
Our Vision is "Nurturing Stewards of the Boreal Forest."
We hope you'll join us!