BSAC Seminar Series 1: Effects of COVID-19 on Airport Wildlife

Date(s) - 28/01/2021
15 h 00 min - 16 h 00 min


Bird Strike Canada Seminar 1: Effects of Covid on Airport Wildlife

This seminar was recorded on 28 January, 2021. These talks have been moved to the Gary F. Searing E-Library. For access to this library click here.

Session A: Reduced human mobility during COVID-19 alters avian land use across North America

Presenter: Dr. Michael Schrimpf, University of Manitoba

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in extraordinary changes to human mobility during 2020, especially in vehicle and airport traffic during the height of the North American spring bird migrations. To determine how those changes affected land use by birds, we used eBird data from cities in the USA and Canada to compare pre-pandemic bird abundance to the abundance during the pandemic. Our findings provide insight into the effects of the pandemic on bird populations and have implications for policies to address human impacts on birds in the future.

Dr. Michael Schrimpf ( is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Manitoba’s Natural Resources Institute, where he currently studies the effects of pandemic lockdowns on birds. A native of the United States, he primarily studied seabird ecology prior to moving to Canada, and has participated in research from Washington State to Antarctica.


Session B: Bird strikes during Covid: An Airline Safety Manager`s perspective

Presenter: Lee Wardingley, Air Canada

lee-wardingley-imgA Corporate Safety Manager’s job is varied, never knowing what the next report will bring and what level of assessment or investigation will be required. Bird/wildlife strikes are not just a domestic issue. Being an International Airline, Bird/wildlife management form a part of the worldwide operations safety assessment. During 2019 we received thousands of reports, we will show how Bird strikes formed part these reports and a comparison of how the picture has changed into the new normal of 2020.

Lee Wardingley is currently the Manager, Corporate Safety-Flight Operations at Air Canada, where he currently reviews reports received from frontline employees, primarily assessing pilot reports. Lee has worked for Air Canada for the last 3 years, promoted from the Risk Managers role into his current position and will form part of the Air Investigations team. Before joining Air Canada, Lee worked as a Flight Engineer/Flight Safety Manager in the Royal Air Force and completed 22 years’ service.

All sessions will be presented on Zoom. Seminar time is given in Eastern Standard Time. Please adjust for your time zone. Note that Eastern Standard Time is 5:00 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time

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