Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program – Windsor/Essex Volunteer Orientation

Adopt a wetland route in Windsor-Essex County this spring! Birds Canada in partnership with the City of Windsor and the Essex Region Conservation Authority, are looking for wetland enthusiasts willing to adopt a local marsh and spend about 10 hours per year as a volunteer surveyor of aquatic birds and amphibians. The MMP offers everyone – from amateur naturalists to professional biologists – a unique and rewarding opportunity to help learn about and conserve Great Lakes amphibians and marsh birds, and their threatened habitats.

Come join us on Wednesday April 5th 2023 from 7pm to 8pm to meet Jennifer and Gina, the Regional Coordinators for the program, seasoned surveyors and new volunteers for the season! At this session you will also be able to sign up for your route.

Please note, we recommend watching the Birds Canada webinar on YouTube BEFORE attending this orientation…titled, Is the Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program right for you? You can view this on YouTube:

Amphibians are surveyed three times: first week of April (or earlier), beginning of May and beginning of June – in the far south west of Ontario these surveys tend to occur earlier than average). Surveys can take a few minutes or a couple of hours depending on the number of stations on that route. Amphibian surveys are a great option for people beginning to participate in Citizen Science surveys.

Bird surveys are conducted two to three times between mid-May and July 5th. Surveys may take as little as 20 minutes or up to 3 hours depending on the number of stations on that route. The majority of bird routes require evening surveys. Bird surveys require additional skill; participants need to be able to identify at least 50 bird species commonly found in marshes (without referring to a field guide). If you are new to bird identification I highly recommend spending at least one season learning first, perhaps with the assistance of apps like Merlin Bird ID or Larkwire.

Commonly volunteers are assigned to a single route near their home (or work) and can choose to survey amphibians, birds or both. All volunteers are asked to ensure simple habitat descriptions are competed on their route annually. Each participant will receive the necessary resources from Bird Studies Canada including training materials, protocols, route information and data forms.

More information

Visit or contact Kathy Jones at ; 888-448-2473 ext. 124. To learn more about each route visit and click on the dot for additional information and a route map link.

The Windsor/Detroit/Essex River MMP coordinators are Jennifer Nantais ( and Gina Pannunzio (519-776-5209 x 245;

Get Involved!

From tree plantings and clean ups, to advocacy and education programs, CLICK HERE to find out how you can be involved with protecting and enhancing the Detroit River.