Web Site Philosophy
My goal with this site is to show you how easy and enjoyable it is to turn your interest in birds into a lifelong passion for birdwatching.
Birds are a fascinating and important part of our environment and the better we understand them, the better we understand how our world works. And despite the fact that birds are the most studied animal on earth, there are new discoveries in the field of bird ecology almost every day. It is my hope that I will be able to help you learn everything you want to know about the captivating world of birds.
And this is me
My name is André Legris and I own Eridani Digital, a small company which focuses on the design and production of content-rich websites and the publication of associated ebooks.
My passion for birds began during the summer of my 15th year, when an ornithologist at the local natural history museum took me on a wild two week ride through the prairies to band cormorants and gulls at large, noisy nesting colonies. I arrived back home just in time to pack for six weeks of living in a cabin in the mountains and doing bird surveys as part of a fire ecology study. Since that summer, I’ve chased a lot of birds over much of North America, and the more I do it, the more I realize that there are still lots of birds I haven’t yet seen and fascinating places I haven’t yet visited.
By the time I had finished a B.Sc. degree in Biogeography at the University of Alberta, I was determined that I was going to become an ornithologist. So, I went to Trent University where I received a Master’s degree in Ecosystem Science. My graduate thesis was titled, “Singing patterns of a subarctic avian community and the relationship of singing activity to breeding activities and weather.”
As a professional biologist, I was fortunate to work in a wide variety of science jobs during the past 25 years. I studied songbirds in the Arctic, searched for raptors in the Rocky Mountain foothills, surveyed nest sites of Burrowing Owls in the prairies and banded ducks in grassland sloughs.
At one point, I held a Master Bird Banding Permit from the Canadian Wildlife Service. While working at the National Wildlife Research Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, I was the Survey Biologist responsible for supervising the National Harvest Survey, which was the largest bird survey programme in Canada.
Between bird biology jobs, I mapped old growth White Pine forests, did soil surveys in the boreal forests of Alberta and British Columbia, wrote biophysical resource reports for different Natural Areas and Ecological Reserves in the prairie grasslands, and designed landscape ecosite maps in all kinds of diverse and intriguing ecosystems.
On the amateur side of birding, I was involved with the Alberta Breeding Bird Atlas project as a surveyor for the first atlas (published in 1992) and then as a Regional Coordinator for the Second Alberta Breeding Bird Atlas (published in 2007). I’ve also done many Christmas Bird Counts, which has to be the most fun and sociable of any birdwatching event.
I also dipped my toe into more formal academic waters when I spent four years as a Sessional Lecturer at the University of Alberta, teaching courses in environmental science, human geography and statistics.
My career then veered off into a very different field: municipal planning. I was a planner and development officer for small towns, rural counties, and industrial areas in western Canada.
Now I’m on career number five as a web designer and writer, producing websites about science, the environment, balanced living and a few other odd topics that pique my interest. Plus lots of writing and editing work.
But my favourite jobs are still the ones that require only a pair of binoculars, a notebook and a passion for finding birds at sunrise.
I was born and raised in Alberta but have lived in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, the United States and France. Currently I live in Victoria, on Vancouver Island. I’m pretty happy about that.
My personal website can be found at Andre Legris.