Conference 2017 – Expedition Cruising

AH18 October 16, 2017

Confirmed presentation for Saturday October 21st: “Creating Ambassadors: Expedition Cruising Helps Secure the Future of Sable Island” Allow us to introduce Cedar Swan, an adventurer and passionate outdoor enthusiast. The CEO of Adventure Canada—as well as an expedition planner…

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Conference 2017 – Seeking Sable’s Lost Wrecks:

AH18 October 15, 2017

Confirmed presentation for Saturday October 21st: “Seeking Sable’s Lost Wrecks: Following a Digital Paper Trail” With some 350 ships thought to have wrecked on Sable Island, it’s sometimes called “The Graveyard of the Atlantic”. At our conference, Bill…

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Conference 2017 – Marine Debris and Micro Plastics

AH18 October 14, 2017

Confirmed presentation for Saturday October 21st: “Atlantic Canada Microplastics Research Project” Marine debris and micro plastics. Unpleasant for sure, but what does the research tell us? Ariel Smith, MEnv, is the Marine Debris Project Coordinator at Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation…

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Conference 2017 – Sable Island Horse Research

AH18 October 13, 2017

Confirmed presentation for Saturday October 21st: “Population Ecology of the Sable Island Horses”  Sable Island’s most famous inhabitants are its horses. And here’s the man who may understand them the best.Philip D. McLoughlin is an Associate Professor…

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Thank You Bill Freedman

October 28, 2015

It was sad to hear of the passing of Bill Freedman in late September 2015.…

AGM 2015 Recap

June 25, 2015

Thanks to everyone who attended the 2015 Annual General Meeting on June 24th at the…

Conference Thanks

June 2, 2015

One month ago today we opened the first Sable Island Conference. It was exciting to…

C-5: “Post-breeding movements of a migratory songbird reveal dramatic differences between adults and fledglings” – Zoe J. Crysler


Post-breeding dispersal is a crucial yet challenging period for migratory birds. It is poorly understood due to difficulties in tracking cryptic, and sometimes far ranging birds preparing for migration. Island breeding birds are ideal candidates for breeding ground studies because their populations are clearly demarcated and movement is confined. The Ipswich Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis princeps), a subspecies of the Savannah Sparrow, is a species of special concern, that breeds exclusively on Sable Island, Nova Scotia. Automated digital telemetry was used to assess the dispersal and movement behaviour of adult and fledgling Ipswich Sparrows on their breeding grounds. Here we seek to answer the following questions with regard to the various dispersal hypotheses: 1) does use of primary sites vary by age or body condition; 2) does movement behaviour (direction of movement and distance of uninterrupted flights) change as migration approaches; and 3) does the type of behaviour (movement vs. stationary) change with time of day or location. We found that adult and fledgling breeding ground dispersal is distinctly different. Adults were present at primary sites for a significantly higher proportion of time and were not detected at any other location on the breeding grounds suggesting very little dispersal. Alternately, fledglings appear to use primary sites much less frequently, and have numerous broad scale movements dependent on approaching migration initiation date.