Queen’s University Biological Station

QUBS Operations Centre (source: Queen's University)

I had the pleasure of visiting with some of the staff and students at the Queen’s University Biological Station this past Friday. The station is located approximately 20 kms to the east of the Frontenac Bird Studies boundary (west boundary). The drive over was spectacular, starting southbound on Canoe Lake Road where I noticed Cerulean and Prairie Warblers singing from the edge of the road. I then traveled along the narrow and winding Little Long Road (southern boundary of FBS study area), which is certainly little but not terribly long. Boisterous Ovenbirds, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and American Redstarts were abundant along this stretch. A short trip north along Perth Road took me to Opinicon Road. Opinicon Road is known as Cerulean Warbler “central” to most birders and this area in tandem with the FBS study area has one of the densest populations of this species in the world. I reached the turnoff to QUBS, which was conveniently marked “Queen’s University Road” and headed down a meandering gravel roadway to the station.

The Queen’s University Biological Station has been in operation for over 50 years on Opinicon Lake and has since grown into a world class facility for biological research. On the day of my visit, the station was a hive of activity as student and faculty researchers from all over North America and beyond were engaged in the day-to-day operations of field projects and courses. QUBS has acquired over 2000 hectares of habitat in the area for the purposes of conservation and study, making the university one of the largest stewards of protected land in the Frontenac Arch. This impressive list of theses and publications produced at QUBS includes the names of many distinguished biologists including Bridget Stutchbury and Adrian Forsyth.

I arranged to meet with Dr. Paul Martin, the Baillie Family Chair in Conservation Biology at QUBS, to discuss the FBS initiative and to stimulate ideas for collaboration and support. I also met Frank Phelan (QUBS Manager) and grad students Mark Conboy and Vanya Rowher. It was a very productive and enjoyable visit and I look forward to future contact and collaboration with the people of QUBS.