Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Toronto Bird Photo Booth Encourages Local Birds to Take Selfies

two cameras make up the Toronto bird photo boothHello Pet Owners in Toronto. My name is Rob Campbell, @roberrific on Twitter, and I'd like to share with you an interesting project that I created this summer, one that is currently 'flying' around town marrying technology with nature. The Toronto Bird Photo Booth descends on sponsor business properties to photograph their birds. Its a fun and natural competition - best portraits win prizes! in each location, the rig is set up by business owners to take pictures of any avian species brave enough to land at the feeder. The unit is comprised of two different motion controlled cameras, seen below, which work in tandem with each other. Together the two wildlife cameras in this contraption have snapped pictures of over 50 wild birds (and other wild animals).

Residents of Toronto know there are wild birds living and singing in the trees all around them, but most folks do not know what types of birds live here, or why certain avian species thrive, while other species are endangered. Many human residents have never looked close up at any of our birds, or bothered to ask who they are? And what challenges they face living so close to our many hazards, read more on Bird Canada. 2014 Toronto Bird Photo Booth Businesses Challenge is designed to raise awareness for urban birds and bird friendly buildings and businesses; the sponsors host the challenges, and set up the cameras, but then they sit back as the machines make media on site. The website is updated each week to show the pictures recorded at each property.

Paul Peic, Redwing Blackbird, Bliuffers park marina The photo contest was launched in June, and will end in October 2014. and the game has already taken off ...

A grackle at Standard Tele, office phones in TorontoThere have been four dedicated hosts thus far, and Its still anyone's contest to win... Week One, Paul Peic, the extreme fitness guru behind Paddleboard Addict, a SUP rentals business in Toronto photographed a very charismatic red wing blackbird who has the distinction of being the first creature to visit the Toronto Bird Photo Booth's silver dish feeder and get its picture taken. Week Two,set up on a rooftop in Yorkville near a busy construction site, the cameras failed to record anything for days - the birdseed spoiled in a summer rain shower twice before any was eaten. Then on Friday, after a long week of coming up empty, Vigorate Digital Loyalty Programs put a cute little English Sparrow into the mix. Its a little known fact that the male sparrow is a songbird, (certain times of year) and the English Sparrow is Canada's most abundant avian species. Week Three, John Conn CEO of Standard Telecom office phones in Toronto lensed this gorgeous Common Grackle. Their songs, and Im sure you've heard them, vary depending on the time of year. They say chewink chewink in the fall which evolves to a more complex ooo whew,whew,whew,whew,whew call breeding season that gets faster and faster, and ends with a loud crewhewwhew! Week Four, David Shephard of Tiny House project got some closeups of a mourning dove. You can read Week Four of the Bird Photo Booth Business Challenge in this week's Toronto is Awesome magazine where you may learn how the mourning dove got its name.

Toronto Bird Photo Booth Business Challenge 2014 has four categories to WIN,

1) Best bird portrait 2) Best group shot 3) Best gallery 4) Rare species best art Contest Ends: October 1st 2014. Shortly thereafter the Toronto Bird Photo Booth Businesses Challenge 2014 story will come to a grand conclusion at a gala event in mid October 2014. Nfbae is already compiling a summary of the entire 2014 Bird of Toronto story. Do you have a bird friendly property in Toronto? Would you like to host the bird photo booth for a week. Message me Rob Campbell at the Birds of Toronto website, or follow me on Twitter @Roberrific and lets get in touch. Thanks.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Phil Demers Sues Marineland

#savesmooshi
Last year I conducted an interview with Phil Demers, a longtime advocate for change at Marineland. Prior to our discussion he had become the target of a lawsuit launched by Marineland as the organization felt he was defaming them. Over the past year Mr. Demers has seen his support continue to grow, while it appears Marineland's popularity has continued to decline at an even greater rate. This week Demers filed a countersuit against Marineland in the amount of $1 500 000.

I am incredibly proud of Phil Demers today. He is an inspiring example to all in animal welfare that you must stick up for yourself, and more importantly the animals. I'll be eagerly following this case. To my estimation Marineland has no one but itself to blame. Just this week John Law of the Niagara Falls Review wrote a column on the current state of Marineland.

The times are changing for the better and peoples' perception of zoos, circuses, and aquarium theme parks increase in their negativity on a daily basis. It is time for these BUSINESSES to do better by the animals.

Demers has issued the following statement on the lawsuit :

"All we want is justice - for the animals, and for the animal abuse whistleblowers. Nobody should remain silent about animal abuse, and we're still here fighting."

You can read Mr. Demers full counterclaim here.

Phil I'm sure I echo the thought of my readers when I wish you the best of luck in seeing justice served in this case. Justice for you, justice for Smooshi, and justice for countless animals held in captivity.