Bird Studies Canada

115 Front Rd
Port Rowan, ON N0E 1M0
President: Patrick Nadeau
Board Chair: Anne McConnell

Charitable Reg. #:11902 4313 RR0001


Ci's Star Rating is calculated based on the following independent metrics:

[Charity Rating: 4/5]



Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity’s website.



Grade based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.



The demonstrated impact per dollar Ci calculates from available program information.


Charity's cash and investments (funding reserves) relative to how much it spends on programs in most recent year.



For a dollar donated, after overhead costs of fundraising and admin/management (excluding surplus) 78 cents are available for programs.

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About Bird Studies Canada:

Bird Studies Canada is a 4-star charity with a below-average results reporting score. It is financially transparent and has overhead costs with Ci’s reasonable range.

Founded in 1960, Bird Studies Canada (Birds Canada) works to conserve wild birds in Canada through science, partnerships, public engagement, and advocacy. In its Canada State of Birds 2019 publication, Bird Studies Canada reports that Canada has lost 40-60% of shorebird, grassland bird, and aerial insectivore populations. In the last decade, 80% of bird species identified as threatened or endangered in Canada have been aerial insectivores or grassland birds. 

Birds Canada has six programs: Assessing the State of Canada’s Birds, Species of Highest Concern, Migration Science and International Collaborations, Mobilizing People in Canada, Important Places for Birds, and Long Point Bird Observatory.

The charity’s Assessing the State of Canada’s Birds program hosts the country’s national data centre for birds, NatureCounts. Birds Canada allocated 34% of total program spending to this program in F2022. The charity’s eBird program is a research and monitoring program where citizens can upload their bird observations and findings for others to see. In F2022, approximately 32,000 Canadians submitted over 17.5 million checklists.

Birds Canada’s Species of Highest Concern program represented 25% of the charity’s total program spending in F2022. Through this program, the charity works with landowners to monitor and protect species at risk. Birds Canada also hosts a podcast, The Warblers, to raise awareness about the species most at risk.

Bird Studies Canada’s Migration Science and International Collaborations program represented 16% of the total program spend in F2022. The charity’s Motus Wildlife Tracking System collaborates with an international research network to track hundreds of species of birds, bats, and insects. As of F2022, Motus includes over 500 research projects tracking more than 300 species, including at least 110 species of conservation concern.

The charity’s Mobilizing People in Canada program (13% of total program spend) aims to bring Canadians together to protect birds at risk. In F2022, more than 73,000 Canadians participated in surveys, bird counts, and other monitoring programs.

Birds Canada’s Important Places for Birds program was 6% of total program spending in F2022. Through this program, the charity helps evaluate potential Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs).

The charity’s Long Point Bird Observatory program represents the remaining 6% of total program spending. In F2022, 20,294 individuals of 122 bird species were banded at the observatory.

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Results and Impact

Through Bird Canada’s Forest Birds at Risk program, thousands of hectares of grassland, forest, and wetland habitat in southern Ontario have benefitted from restoration and the management of at-risk species. The charity has also contributed to maintaining critical migratory corridors of birds, bats, and butterflies within Long Point Biosphere Reserve by successfully advocating against wind turbine placement.  

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Bird Studies Canada’s results. This charity is not yet rated on impact (n/r).

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Bird Studies Canada had donations and special events revenue of $2.6m in F2022. The charity received $4.7m in government funding, representing 54% of its total revenue. Bird Studies Canada also received $623k in international donations, representing 7% of total revenue.

Administrative costs are 8% of revenues (less investment income) and fundraising costs are 14% of donations. This results in total overhead spending of 22%. For every dollar donated, 78 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. 

Bird Studies Canada has reserve funds of $8.3m which can cover a year and two months of its annual program costs.

This charity report is an update that has been sent to Bird Studies Canada for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming. 

Updated on June 25, 2023 by Kiara Andrade. 

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 7.8%8.4%8.3%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 13.8%9.4%10.1%
Total overhead spending 21.5%17.8%18.3%
Program cost coverage (%) 121.3%125.3%118.1%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 2,3842,1822,364
International donations 623989260
Goods in kind 31500
Government funding 4,6932,9112,782
Fees for service 8290123
Special events 220209241
Investment income 3931,246(235)
Other income 5018826
Total revenues 8,7597,8135,562
Program costs - International 164109269
Program costs - Canada 6,6575,6995,108
Grants 222130
Administrative costs 652552478
Fundraising costs 358224262
Other costs 17274
Total spending 7,8706,6316,151
Cash flow from operations 8891,183(589)
Capital spending 000
Funding reserves 8,2977,3046,383

Note: Ci used the international donations and government funding amounts from the charity’s T3010 filings with the CRA and removed the amounts from donations. The charity had deferred revenues of $436k in F2022, ($166k) in F2021, and ($241k) in F2020. Ci could not break out changes in government vs. non-government deferred revenues and therefore could not adjust for them. Ci included foreign exchange loss in investment income, affecting revenues and expenses by ($9k) in F2022 and ($55k) in F2021. Ci included bank interest and exchange as an expense, affecting revenues and expenses by ($11k) in F2022 and ($408) in F2021.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 47

Avg. compensation: $70,636

Top 10 staff salary range:

$350k +
$300k - $350k
$250k - $300k
$200k - $250k
$160k - $200k
$120k - $160k
$80k - $120k
$40k - $80k
< $40k

Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2022

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

No comments have been added by the charity.

Charity Contact

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 1-888-448-2473


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001