We are preparing for a summer full of exciting initiatives! Read on to catch up on our current projects and programs.

With spring in full swing, many bird species are migrating back north for their breeding season. Watch for a variety of birds returning to your neighbourhood this spring!

Dr. Bondar was in the field throughout the winter and into this spring, photographing several of the focal species of the Space for Birds project, including Red Knots and Piping Plovers, and observing the changes that happen as we move from winter to spring.

Dr. Bondar in Florida with her gear, ready to photograph!

One day in early spring on North Beach, Fort de Soto Park, Florida, Dr. Bondar observed two Red Knots (Calidris canutus) on the beach shortly after sunrise. They were seen scavenging for food amongst the sand. Red Knots typically find food by sight, but also have specialized bills that they can use to probe into the sand and detect food!

A short movie of the Red Knots, taken by Dr. Bondar and shared below, shows a Red Knot changing its plumage from a winter grey look with mottled flanks to the breeding spring and summer reddish-brown on the face and underparts. Their legs maintain a greenish hue all year long, and they have a stocky build and a medium-length straight black bill.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the Red Knot as a Near Threatened species on its Red List. Interestingly, one of the Red Knots seen here was banded, and Dr. Bondar submitted the colour banding info (>4J Light Green) to the USGS banding report online. This will help us to learn more about its origin, and contribute to tracking Red Knot populations. The Red Knot's migrations can be some of the longest of any migratory bird, so these bands hold the key to a surely magnificent story. We will keep you updated if we hear back from the original bander with more info on this Red Knot!

Our Travelling Exhibitions and Learning Experiences (TELEs) are back! Dr. Bondar's new TELE, Patterns and Parallels: The Great Imperative to Survive, will be opening its doors for viewing at the Art Gallery of Algoma in Sault Ste. Marie on July 13th, 2023, and be on display there until October 15th, 2023. It will then travel to galleries, museums and science centres across the country.

This exhibition shares ground-breaking new perspectives on the declining populations and life-sustaining habitats of three at-risk migratory bird species - the Whooping Crane, Lesser Flamingo and Piping Plover. The exhibition is an important educational component of a larger multi-year initiative, the Space for Birds (or AMASS: Avian Migration Aerial Surface Space) project, which explores at-risk migratory birds using images from three perspectives - aerial views, intimate portraits on the ground, and views from space.

The exhibition will also feature video installations and interactive background information on the photos that can be accessed through QR codes stationed throughout the gallery.

"Climate change. Shrinking habitats. Disappearing biodiversity. Birds are a source of inspiration for people of all ages. The diversity and numbers of birds are declining as our changing planet tests their fragility and resilience. People want to understand more, to reverse this alarming downward trend in avian life. They are concerned. They need stories to bolster their commitment to the critical conservation of birds and their shrinking habitats and to give hope and inspiration across all generations. Good mental health needs the natural world."

- Dr. Roberta Bondar

Left to right: “No Honey Bee, Honey Wasp” by Ellie Gatt, “Not All Spiders are Scary” by Paige Lennox, “Anatis” by Gage G.

For the 2022 Summer Camp Bondar Challenge, we received 163 total submissions from all our participating camps! 10 Winning Entries were selected across the four GEM card levels, as well as 4 camp winners. The full list of Summer Camp Bondar Challenge winners is now available on our website for you to view!


Left to right: “Sap” by Sakura Grenier, “Flower Shadow by Gage Gagnon, “Forest Lake” by Avery Johnson

In 2022, students from PWK High School took photos for the Wilderness Bondar Challenge in a variety of natural areas around Fort Smith, Northwest Territories. 14 winning entries were selected across the four GEM card levels for both grade 7 and 8. The full list of Wilderness Bondar Challenge winners is now available on our website for you to view!


We are now accepting applications for the 2023 Summer Camp Bondar Challenge and preparing for our upcoming season! Join the challenge this summer and help connect youth to nature.


On March 30th, Shannon Whiteside, RBF Research & Program Coordinator, and Nancy Croome, RBF Managing Director, attended the Ontario Camps Association Annual Conference, "OCA [Re]Connects." We were so excited to reconnect with people in the camping field, and share our plans for the upcoming Summer Camp Bondar Challenge season!

The School Bondar Challenge, delivered by our partners at EcoSchools Canada, is wrapping up another year of involving schools across Canada in the Challenge. To date, 202 schools have added the Bondar Challenge to their EcoSchools plan for the 2022-2023 school year.

Register with EcoSchools Canada to become a certified eco-school by participating in activities and programs like the Bondar Challenge!

Circle 129 is a community of the Roberta Bondar Foundation, that was launched on January 22, 2022, at the 30th Anniversary event of Dr. Bondar's historic spaceflight. Supporters include people from various parts of the world who share Dr. Bondar’s belief in the importance of inquiry, creativity, and the conservation of our natural world.

The significant and on-going commitment of these individuals ensures that the organization can undertake long-term programming, and seize opportunities that make a positive impact. Join Circle 129 and enjoy unique opportunities to connect and learn with the RBF community.

Donations to RBF are put into action to decrease the growing nature deficit in society and inspire action to protect our natural world. Together we can make great strides in addressing these growing challenges. Please take a moment and make your gift today using the secure form below.

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