Vancouver Avian Research Centre

.....Research - Conservation - Education

Workshop Testimonials

A MASTERPIECE! A BIG 10!

Neil Multack – Center for Biological Diversity

Wonderful! Expert instructors and priceless hands-on experience. Non-intimidating and fun! A 10 experience!

Kimberly Hancock – Hemmera

A 10 experience! I enjoyed learning so much more about birds and being able to handle them.

Lauren Artman

10! Terrific! Lots of good info – opportunity to practice very good too!

Workshop participant

The entire course provided great learning value. The content and pace aree well thought out and the field session was an excellent complement to the classroom – great job – 10!

Workshop participant

A 10 experience! We were very pleased – Derek’s style of teaching is very effective!

Linda Cline & Jim Carr

GREAT! Now to apply the knowledge learned!

Julie Nielsen – Keystone Environmental

It was awesome – It really helped me learn more about birds – well organized – very supportive – loved it!

Workshop participant

A 10 experience – perfect – very helpful – great!

Workshop participant

Excellent – a 10 experience! We will look into teaching our employees with similar courses by Derek – Thanks!

Neil MacLeod

Overall amazing experience! Loved each second! Will definitely be out to volunteer – Thank you both!

Kelsey Kovacevich

A 10 experience! Informative and enjoyable – First time bird holder! Loved it!

Tonya Fallstrom – Burrowing Owl Conservation Society

A 10! It was perfect – The class was a great mix of classroom teaching, in-class practice activities, and hands on outdoor experience!

Andrea Pomeroy

A 10 experience – not enough time to ask questions but really great – Thank you!

Marcia Browne

A 10 experience! Truly excellent – Your knowledge of and passion for the material and for avian conservation is an inspiration!

Robin Naidoo – World Wildlife Fund

A 10 experience! Fast paced with every minute used to provide excellent learning opportunities – all done with great, good humour!

Marguerite Mousseau

A 10 experience! Fantastic – I’m tired and satisfied and excited to commute up north to band some birds!

Kelley Palmer-McCarty – North Cascades Audubon Society

A 10 experience! Another fantastic course!

Nicolas de Jongh - YVR Wildlife

15!! :o) It was an amazing experience, giving me new tools that I hope to use at the banding station.

Kris Mohoruk

11! Amazing workshop that teaches very useful and powerful techniques for ageing. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!

Ivand Pulido

Fantastic, all I need to say – Learnt so much - keep up the great work!

Kasrah Lohrasb

A 10 experience! It was a very well organized workshop that allowed the intake of all the comprehensive information to flow and eventually sink in! The field work was the best part!

Ranah Chavoshi

A 10 experience! Great technical information to build on with practice!

Kirsten Wolcox

A 10 experience! A superb workshop, well paced, well structured and enhanced my bird knowledge immeasurably!

Murray Lashmar

A 10 experience – I am extremely impressed with the workshop. After working with birds of all types, extensive travel birding, and a PhD in ornithology this course taught me a lot!

Christine Bishop – Environment Canada

A 10 experience – Fantastic, motivating, encouraging and fun! The experience of banding and releasing a bird is something unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.

Neil Moss – British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT)

A 10 experience – Excellent material – comprehensively presented and built on – Excellent instructor and support! Derek and carol thank you for all your work in bringing awareness about birds!

Pam Borso

10+ - Great group of people. BETTER than expected – You gave us serious info that gives a wonderful base to expand on! Thank you so much for providing this opportunity to learn and the knowledge to act with.

Jeanette Rooseboom (Banding hopeful in training!)

A 10 experience!

Tom Tonge

A 10 experience - It was a privilege and a wonderful opportunity to work out at Colony Farm and be exposed to such knowledgeable and deducted people.

Marie Carr (Yukon Banding Club)

A 10 experience – challenging and tiring at times!

Jenny Auxier (Langley Field Naturalists Club)

A 10 experience – The course was excellent – material was engaging – presentations very well thought out and organized. Derek and Carol you are passionate about the material and excellent teachers – Thank you for talking the itme to run this workshop and share your passion with us!

Jasmin Dobson (Hemmera)

10! Excellent – Great combination of hands-on and theoretical – Keep up the great work!

Ralph Heinrich (Triton Environmental Consultants)

10! I got to band birds! The hands-on aspect is really enjoyable and the lesson aspect makes you appreciate birds much more – it was awesome!

Eleanor Duifhuis – (BCIT – FWR)

A 10 experience (sad it’s over!) I have been birding and taught ornithology for many years – I was so amazed by the new knowledge I have learned in 3 days! I had a blast doing so :o) Everyone at VARC was fantastic – Thank you! See you again soon – Hooked on banding now :o)

Virginia Noble

A 10 experience – Wow! Wish I’d taken this 10 years ago!

Cadi Schiffer

A 10 experience – I feel like I’ve made a huge jump in my knowledge and understanding of bird biology and morphology. It was a wild ride – Thank you!

Penny Bolton

A 10 experience – This like the ID course is a true workshop – a great mix of theory, review and practice in the classroom and in the field. Greta you managed 2 field sessions!

Louise Routledge

The workshop was awesome at just the right pace and with hands on experience – a 10 experience – Thank you!

Helpful, non-condescending and relaxed teaching style made me feel comfortable right away – a 10 experience!

Luke Kelly

Wonderful, action packed, mind expanding and fun with birds! A 10!

It was absolutely wonderful and now I’m even more excited to go banding – a 10 experience – see you next week!

Sarah Legros – MetroVancouver

Excellent, useful info. I feel like I actually came out with new knowledge and skills I will be able to use even immediately – a 10 experience!

Krista Wuensche – University Fraser Valley

It was a real privilege to learn from Derek – also appreciated the work of Carol and the folks at the banding station – I would encourage VARC as an example to standardize banding certification – Thanks!

20 out of 10!! Like always Derek and Carol you are amazing people and Derek I say to everybody you are by far the best teacher I ever had – Thank you :o)

Ana Mendes

A 10 experience – The course was wonderful – very thorough and a great nitro to banding – Thank you!

Anne MacLeod – Sialia Biological Consulting

10 and A1! It was an excellent experience.

Todd Heakes

12 out of 10!! Extremely well organized, every minute was packed with lots of info, taught at a good pace in a very supportive environment – Derek’s enthusiasm is infectious!

Debby Peng

A 10 experience! Amazing! A lot to learn and really fun – It was like an accelerated banding course!

Vinci Au – University of British Columbia (UBC)

A 10 experience! I enjoyed being out in the field and the classroom sessions gave a good background enough to understand what I am doing while banding. The practical parts also showed I have lots to learn!
Thank you so much for the course and I hope you keep doing this!

Maki Sumitani – University of British Columbia (UBC)

Great – You guys are very enthusiastic which creates a really energetic atmosphere!

Micky Leung

A 10 experience - Tons of information, loved the field work with the birds – Will recommend this course to other – Great job! 

Karen Wheatley – Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (O.W.L.) 

A 10 experience - Another amazing workshop! I learnt so much while at the same time enjoying every minute! Thank you! 

Sarah Gray 

A 10 experience - Everyone who wants to work with/study/enjoy birds should take this course! 

Nancy Flood – Thompson Rivers University 

A 10 experience – Bird banding was the most remarkable experience! 

Yoko Lu 

A 10+ experience! Like the ID workshop I’ve been waiting for about 2 years to do this course and I wasn’t disappointed! 

Laura Brown 

A 10 experience – It was an overall amazing experience – The amount of material covered was comprehensive and fantastic

Charl Stafleu 

Wonderful experience – lots of very effective learning time 

Marguerite Sans – Wildlife Rescue Association (WRA) 

A 10 experience – excellent for all levels of knowledge – Very informative with great hands on experience! 

Chris Hart 

A 10 experience – Succinct summaries – reviews critical to retention – hands on component was crucial top assimilating all the information. 

David Bradbeer – Delta Farmlands and Wildlife Trust 

A 10 experience! Professional, well organized – Carol you have fabulous management skills – You have helped lift the fog and confusion – Thanks! 

Christine Croton

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Your banding operation is outstanding and your working team approach is professional and engaging. 

Wendy Easton – CWS (Canadian Wildlife Service) 

Top notch teaching with good understanding of how people learn. Mix of classroom and field ideal also for learning. This was an intense and very exciting course. 10 – First rate course! 

Krista De Groot - CWS (Canadian Wildlife Service) 

A 10 experience – Great weekend – I love my job but too bad I have to go to work tomorrow! I’m sure I’ll be a better birder! 

Christopher DiCorrado – Bird Studies Canada  

I had the fabulous hands on experience I was looking for, complimented by very interesting theory. A 10 experience! 

Stephanie Louie – SNC-Lavalin Environment 

I loved it. I would highly recommend it to others – Your passion is infectious! Thanks! 

Tiffany Flye 

A 10 experience! Very positive, handling birds Sunday was unexpected and a little daunting – impressed at the pace, organization and content. 

Robin Taylor 

Great experience – excellent materials and teaching – a 10 experience! 

Donna McKenzie 

Extraordinarily well designed and well organized course of instruction. Nice balance between theory and practical. A 10 experience! 

Trudy Kavanagh – UBC – Okanagan

The content of the course was very comprehensive without getting too technical – review sheets were good as they refocused me and I could refer back to them – a great experience with lots of information to digest. Definitely a ‘10’ experience!

Marg Anderson – Burnaby Lake Parks Association

The reviews and exercise were helpful and I got what I wanted out of the course – the overall experience was fascinating and exhausting – my perspective on birds was enlarged by this course – Budgie bite is much more painful than Chickadee bite!! Thank you for providing this learning experience.

Colin McKenzie - Birder

This was an absolutely wonderful course that opened my eyes to the incredible knowledge that bird banders possess. I have already spoken to some of my friends about my experiences, and they are interested in possibly participating in this for themselves. Any suggestions for marketing this class that I could possibly come up with, you have likely already heard of, but the most powerful advertisement is word of mouth.

Thank you so much for your patience and introducing me to such a wonderful new world. I’m truly grateful for the experience and I hope I have the chance to see you at Burnaby for some banding weekends.
Thank you!

Erin O’Connor – BCIT Student

I really enjoyed the workshop. It was very well presented and I learned a lot. Derek is very knowledgeable and was a great instructor, and Carol was also of a great help. I would strongly recommend this workshop to anyone else.

Veronique Connolly – Canadian Wildlife Service – Environment Canada

An excellent course for the person who assists in banding operations and likes to study bird behaviour in general

Roy Yates – Birder and Naturalist

The course was wonderfully well organized and Carol’s contributions in keeping things running smoothly and intuiting the mood of the class were as valuable as Derek’s teaching.
I was very excited about attending the course, and came away tired, but with a renewed enthusiasm for birds and bird banding. I am so glad I was able to attend.

Peter Lawrance - Park Interpretation Leader – Metro Vancouver

The pace was perfect, the review sheets were very helpful - I enjoyed the classes and instructors and learned more than I expected in only two and a half days!

Kirtsin Webster – Masters student at Simon Fraser University

Just want to thank you one more time for a really superb workshop - Haven't had to think so hard since I retired! I found it an interesting experience being on the other side of the lecture table for once, and more than once my thoughts went back to what my own students must have tried to master. Your organization of the material and the whole workshop was faultless, and you went the extra mile to make us all feel comfortable and to provide everything we needed including tea, coffee, pizza and snacks; that was much appreciated.

I well realize just how much work was involved in producing the presentations and all the handouts and tests. The way you made the presentation was faultless, and your strategy of reinforcing the material as we went along with tests and repetition was extremely valuable and a good one. What can I say? This was one of the most enjoyable weekends I have ever spent. And thank you for opening up your lovely house to us and giving us experience in actually being "idiot banders" for a morning!

Thanks a million - Very best wishes,

Derek Sutton – Retired University Professor

Outstanding – extremely well organized – fast-paced but great knowledge laddering review sheets were a great way to apply knowledge – a 10 +++ experience Derek & Carol make an awesome team – Loved it – can’t wait to apply skills – Great course!

Eric Demers - Ph.D., R.P.Bio. U-C Professor, Biology B.Sc. Degree Advisor, Malaspina University-College

A ‘10’ experience – it was intense but stimulating, challenging and fun all at once!

Carol Woodworth

The content of the course was FABULOUS – great as a prep for real birding/banding

Aija White

An 11 out of 10 experience! Definitely got more knowledge – great hands-on experience – gained confidence in my ability to participate in mist-netting – GREAT course – a real treat!

Cally Curle – Grouse Mountain Wildlife Management

A 10 experience – excellent!

Jane Shoemaker – Burke Mountain Naturalists

An 11 out of 10 experience – This is exactly the kind of thing I need to get started on my way to banding some day!

Stephen Joly

A 10 experience – excellent, very technical but interesting and challenging – perfect – fast paced but very well organized – great team – Knowledge of subject matter was very impressive – I will recommend this highly!

Karen Barry

Fantastic experience!

Charlie Palmer, M.Sc. (Hons) – Senior Ecologist - Hemmera Environmental

A 10 experience – intensive but not overwhelming – I really enjoyed the course and learnt so much I will definitely recommend the course to friends and co-workers! Your enthusiasm and encouragement was much appreciated!

Ashleigh Ballevona – Hemmera Environmental

Very exciting, high paced, excellent – A 10 experience!

Lee Schaeffer, MFC, RPF RPBio – Biologist - Uji Ecological Conservation and Restoration Ltd.

A 10 experience!

Ivor Brown

Very knowledgeable and excellent teaching – a great blend of classroom and field experience – Thank you!

Raime Fronstin – Doctoral Student, Simon Fraser University

I learned a lot of great information that will be useful to me in my work and in my hobby – Derek & carol were both great – Thank you both!

Melanie Gordon - Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre

This is exactly what I look for in a course like this – comprehensive, knowledgeable leaders who are helpful and enthusiastic about the subject.

Neal Gordon

Excellent – I really enjoyed it – The field sessions were incredible and the classroom work was well structured and very interesting.

I learned a huge amount in a very short time – I can’t wait to get out and volunteer – Thanks for everything – I really enjoyed the course and hope I’ll be able to help at some of the Vancouver/Burnaby sites.

Darcy Pickard – ESSA Technologies Environmental Consulting

A valuable learning and life experience!

Rick Leche – Bird & Wildlife Photographer

Thanks for the course – I feel confident and comfortable with the handling and determining bird characteristics after completing this course – Can’t wait to apply my knowledge!

Samantha Brett

Very comprehensive and detailed – I really enjoyed the 2nd filed session seeing (and using) how much I had learned

Renae Mackas – Simon Fraser University

I had a ton of fun and learned much more than I expected to – Let me know when you’ve got the ID course organized! :o)

Julie Rivers

This course is exceptional. The content is comprehensive, applicable and very well organized. Derek and Carol excel at sharing this information in an enthusiastic and knowledgeable manner that makes the fast-paced and intense learning very fun. One can't help but to be motivated to learn and then to put this new knowledge into practice. A must have experience for anyone who wishes to take their knowledge and interest in birds to a new level.

Gord Gadsden - FVRD Parks Resource Technician

A 10 experience – I learnt a lot and feel much more confident handling birds.

Jason Osterhold

Excellent – learned tons – Thanks!

Dave Driediger - FVRD Parks

Thanks again for taking the weekend for this extra workshop, and for all the work that goes into putting all this together. It was a great learning experience and well worth the time, even the early start. (I'm definitely not a morning person!)
I also very much appreciated, and I'm sure all of the group would agree, your emphasis on the need for conservation and doing whatever we can to make a difference. We all have to keep this in the forefront and keep getting the message out wherever we can.
I was just looking out the window at the birds in our backyard and wondering if I could pick out any molt limits with my binos. :))
Thanks very much for all the work you put in to this – great!

Stan Olson – expert birder

Great experience – learned so much in a short time that will help me as a birder / bander – 10 out of 10!

Ryan Johnson

A ‘10’ experience – learnt a lot!

Lee Larkin

Learned lots – excellent teachers – well organized – supportive to asking questions – tests great review – Wow! To touch a live healthy bird!
The weekend was fabulous. Thanks so much for taking your time to teach us in such a grand fashion!

Janne Perrin

A 12 out of 10 experience! The class is exactly what I have been looking for in my thirst for knowledge about birds - Thank you for an amazing weekend - I learned so much and left the class feeling passionately curious and inspired – You have opened a door to me that will never be shut. Thanks again.

Joel Brady-Power

A solid 10! Very comprehensive, beyond expectations – I am convinced that every birder should take this course to be a better birder!!

John Vooys - Regional Coordinator, British Columbia Breeding Bird Atlas, Central Fraser Valley

A 10 experience – It was really well organized – Thank you!

Lisa Rockwell

A 10 experience – wonderful – Thank you!

Melissa Todd – MFR Coast Forest Region Research Section

Excellent course - A 10 experience! - I now feel confident to start banding birds!

James Pesci – Simon Fraser University(SFU) – Environmental Science

Great experience especially when combined with the Bird ID course – Thank you so much – I can’t wait to wow my Jfriends when I tell them about the HETH’s emarginated P6!!

Good coverage of background information and quality time with birds – a 10 experience!

Amanda Edworthy – University of British Columbia (UBC)

I loved this workshop! Thanks so much fro being so helpful and informative and truly welcoming. It was a great experience! Thanks!

Haley Kenyon - University of British Columbia (UBC)

A 10 experience! Excellent presentation! Great mix of theory and practical – THANK YOU for all your considerable input!

Cassie Williams – Kamloops Naturalists Club (KNC)

It was great – a 10 experience – very intense and I learned a lot!

Michaela Martin – University of British Columbia (UBC)

Excellent – inspiring to get back to birds!

Louise Waterhouse - M.Sc., RPF, RPBio - Research Wildlife Habitat Ecologist, Coast Forest Region

I enjoyed it a lot – I felt I learned and retained a lot in a short period of time – Thanks!

Anna Drake – Simon Fraser University (SFU)

Excellent, classroom sessions were very informative and the field trips were great. I feel much more confident in ageing and sexing – a 10 experience!

David Toews, MSc. PhD Student - Biodiversity Research Centre
Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia

Fantastic, Brilliant, Really wonderful, Fulfilling – I’m hooked on banding! 12.3 out of 10!! :o)

Rachel Field – Simon Fraser University

It was an awesome experience. It’s a rare thing to learn so much while having so much fun. On a scale of 1 – 10…. A 15 experience!!!

Carolina Ribeiro

Great content and fun even with no experience with North American landbirds – a 10 experience!

Andrea Gielens

I got more than I wanted out of the course – it covered a lot and moved well – in class and banding station was a perfect balance – just wish the Bluebird would have flown our way!! Thanks!

Monica Nugent

Great people, very well done in terms of layout, progress, use of photos and samples and supportive filed work! Well balanced and though out – Lovely! :o) The review you have built in to the course was expertly done and bang on with the latest brain research on the brain and learning. Definitely a 10!

Geoff & Emily Styles – Shuswap School District & Birds Korea

Now I feel much more confident about my ability to identify the right characteristics of birds when banding or birding – You guys are inspiring! Thanks!

Dorthea Atwater

Learnt a lot, enjoyed it especially the filed work – a 10 experience!

Patrick Fawkes

Derek and Carol, I really want to say, if I can, how much I got out of the workshop. It really was a peak experience for me, and I am anxious to get back to Colony Farm and be there to learn and observe more. Thank you so much for having the commitment and caring to make this learning opportunity possible.

As everyone has already told you, I am sure, you and Carol were so incredibly organized and clear, and knowledgeable. Any deficiencies in my learning are my responsibility and mine alone, I assure you!

As I've said, I would really like to go back to Colony Farm soon, so I will keep an eye on when you will be down there, and come out. Can't wait for the chance!

Thank you again, it was simply great!

Rozanne Thompson – Burke Mountain Naturalists


A 10 experience – it inspired me to finally make my home more bird friendly and continue improving my skills!

Aimee Mitchell

The course moved quickly, challenging, great! A 10 experience – I really enjoyed myself while learning more than I expected.

Aaron Gaffney

A 10 experience – As much information as I can handle and a bit more (this is good!) Excited to get out, bird more and participate in monitoring / studying programs.

Megan McGinty

Very informative and very comfortable learning environment – A 10 experience!

Tanya Jones – Simon Fraser University

A 10 experience!

Sean McCann – Simon Fraser University

Wonderful experience – a 10!

Jim Davis – Davis MPE Inc.

Excellent – didn’t feel sleepy even once during the lecture / discussion sessions – Derek / Carol – excellent instruction! Appreciate the practical application of information presented – A 10 experience!

Tom Marshall

I received some excellent information from you and thought that you did an excellent job of presenting the material

Julie Kovach

A 10 experience – really good pace and amount of information – specimens, photos and exercises were particularly helpful. Thanks for all of the great experiences, Derek and Carol. As someone who has been teaching for many years, I must say that you have done an excellent job in putting this course together and teaching it.

Don Ferguson - SFU Environmental Science

A 10 experience – really liked the fast pace – very interesting and I look forward to using my new skills!

Nancy Furness – CFIA

I learned WAY more than I had expected and was thrilled about being able to handle the birds so independently – a 10 experience!

Petra Wykpis

Enjoyable but hard work! Thank you for your enthusiasm and knowledge – I had a great time! Thanks for the great course!

Debbie Wheeler – University of the Fraser Valley

A 10 experience – can’t think of what could be better – well organized, comprehensive and thorough explanation of information.

Karen Bailey – BCIT

Thanks again for a great weekend!

Pamela Zevit, R.P. Bio - Adamah Consultants

 

This is an exceptional workshop – truly professional and extremely fun – I can not wait to take the ID course!

Robert Anrens – PHD Student

Very educational and interesting – have a new outlook on bird banding and ID!

Adam Paterson – Ecoscape Environmental Consultants Ltd.

It was excellent – I would jump at the opportunity of taking an additional course with Derek – A 10 experience!

Mary Ann Olson-Russello - Ecoscape Environmental Consultants Ltd.

Loved it! A 10 experience!

Nicole Littlemore – Association of Professional Biologists of BC

A 10! I had a great time – I learned lots – The work book and review sheets were very helpful – Banding was AMAZING!

Teresa Corboy – Kamloops Naturalists Club

A 10 experience – Very enjoyable – I still have lots to review and learn but I now have the tools and new knowledge to do so – A very thorough introduction to bird banding!

Daryl Henderson

Great – a 10 experience!

Kate Fremlin – Gebauer & Associates

A great experience! Very informative and useful – Compensating for the rain with ID stuff was great!!

Beth MacDonald – UBC

Excellent – Nice to feel the pieces fall in to place!

Andrea Rambeau
 

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