Regional Coordinators

Regional Coordinators (RCs) are the backbone of a breeding bird atlas, and vital to its success. They are the main contact and source of information for all atlassers in their region, and an essential link between atlassers and the central office.

When planning your atlassing adventures, please remember to contact the RC for any region you’re planning to conduct surveys in. They will help answer your Atlas questions, assign “principal atlassers” to squares, and help you work out how best to contribute to the project!

We are currently seeking Regional Coordinators for Region 6 (Bonavista-Placentia West) and Region 8 (St. Pierre and Miquelon). If you are an organized, enthusiastic birder with good communications skills and connections in the local birding community, please get in touch with the Atlas Office ( to express your interest!

Region 1: Northern Peninsula

Holly Lightfoot

I didn’t start birding until later in life but a field course in university on an offshore island with thousands of Leach’s Storm Petrels had me hooked.  While there are a lot of great birds to be discovered in our region, if I had to pick a favourite I would say one of our chickadees, either Black-capped or Boreal.  They always seem so cheery and if you have ever been fortunate enough to work at a bird banding station you will know that they are feisty!  No wonder they can survive our Newfoundland winters!  I’m still exploring this region so have a hard time picking a favourite birding spot, but do love that there are some trails close enough to the office that I can get out for a lunch time birding walk (like Berry Head Pond, Berry Hill Pond, and the ski trails at the Visitor Center).

Gabrielle Robineau-Charette

I moved to Newfoundland for work for what was supposed to be three months, and here I am still, six years later! I first got into birding when I was a summer student with Parks Canada. A park interpreter started to teach us how to identify warblers by song and we spent the whole summer walking in the woods, practising. I was hooked! My favourite birding spot here in Region 1 is in the woods behind my house. I love being able to get out the door with the family and instantly be surrounded by forest birds. I especially enjoy when chickadees mob around us and check us out curiously.

Favourite Newfoundland birds are Canada Jay and Boreal Chickadee. Can’t decide. Oh and winter wren for the song! Makes me laugh!

Region 2: Southwestern Newfoundland

Lois Bateman

I got into bird watching as a child when I borrowed my father’s heavy old binoculars to try to see singing warblers in the woods behind our house in rural southeastern New Brunswick. Living in Tobago, WI, after university, I became fascinated with the subtropical birds there. I’ve lived in Western Newfoundland for over 45 years and still prefer ‘watching’ birds of any species to chasing down a rarity.

Watching Bobolinks in the Codroy Valley in June would be a favourite bird in a favourite place.

Julia Briffett

My early years were in Channel-Port-aux-Basques, a rocky, foggy place with not a tree to be found. Occasional visits to the Codroy valley did teach me that there were a lot more birds in  the world than the gulls I saw every day. However, it was when moving to Corner Brook in 1973 in the backyard of our first real family home that the sighting of an American Redstart got me excited about learning to identify what I was observing.  Finding like minded friends and going on field trips not only added to knowledge but created life long friendships. Of course, interest in learning more about bird behaviour and population shifts led to participation in citizen science projects. I have done feeder watch and Christmas Bird Counts for 30+ years. Since  retiring from a long and varied career as a nurse, I continue to enjoy my two passions, birding and gardening.

My favourite birding areas continue to be the Codroy Valley, as well as an area of PAB, Grand Bay West. I find the Piping Plover particularly endearing. This little bird has been nesting for eons on the beautiful sandy beach there; described as being in the ‘thousands ‘ by the oldtimers, there are now  only a few pairs struggling to reproduce. Their return each year continues to be a cause for celebration.

Tina Newbury

I spend most of my time out enjoying nature, whether it’s during my day job with Canada Post as a letter carrier or in my free time back-country skiing, hiking, biking kayaking, canoeing, stand up paddling, or wild swimming.

While I enjoy exploring all the nooks and crannies, and seeing new places, I think my favourite habitat is the higher elevation terrain in the western region of the province. I like the landscapes, colours, wildflowers, and birds and other fauna found in these regions.

Favourite Newfoundland breeding bird is a tough one, but I’m going with Northern Saw-whet Owl.

Regions 4 & 6: Bay d’Espoir & Bonavista-Placentia West

Alvan Buckley

Since becoming a birder in 2009, I have volunteered and worked with several organizations including two Arctic trips with the Canadian Wildlife Service and three years of guiding at Point Pelee National Park. I am passionate about my home province of Newfoundland and Labrador and excited to see the results of the province’s first atlas. I love the adventure and sense of discovery that comes from the endless remote and undiscovered areas across the province, particularly Region 4. My favourite bird is the Rock Ptarmigan and I am excited to find some in Region 4!

Doug Clark

I am an early career high school social studies teacher with a lifelong passion for birding. I currently teach and live in Port au Choix, on the Northern Peninsula, but spent my first two years post-graduation – two of the best of my life – in the Hermitage area on the South coast. Though they are no longer active, my parents were both avid birders in Ontario and instilled in me a love of nature from childhood. I still remember ardently studying field guides in the back of the car on family road trips. The past two years, most of my birding has been done in the beautiful Port au Choix region, but I still look back fondly on my time birding the valley between Hermitage and Sandyville, as well as the Pass Island road on Seal Cove. One of the great things about teaching is that it gives me a chance to explore some of the less traveled regions of the province, and I always find it rewarding getting to know the birds and wildlife in any place I find myself. Owls and warblers are my favourite, but if you spend enough time with them, even the most drab birds have something to commend them.

Region 5: Northeast Newfoundland

John Gosse

I have been a biologist with Parks Canada for over twenty years and have focused on species at risk recovery and reducing the impact of non-native moose on forest ecosystems in Terra Nova National Park. I have also conducted breeding bird and winter bird surveys throughout remote regions of Newfoundland and Labrador and western Canada. My most rewarding place to bird is among the coastal islands of outer Bonavista Bay, though my favourite bird species is the elusive American Three-toed Woodpecker typically found in more interior, black spruce forests of Newfoundland.

Region 7: Avalon

Megan Boucher

Growing up, I spent countless hours exploring the woods behind my house, learning about the various birds, plants, and critters. We used to mark our field guide for the birds we saw around the yard and dad would take us to the park to feed the chickadees and nuthatches from our hands! That led to an exciting pastime and work experiences. I have worked on remote islands doing seabird research, banded seabirds, songbirds, and raptors in different locations, travelled to remote locations for fisheries work, and undertaken various other adventures. I am very passionate about birds, and love to see, learn, and teach others about birds. We have such a beautiful environment around us and to explore it through birds is an adventure! It is difficult to say what my favourite bird is as I have so many. I love Chickadees, both Boreal and Black-capped, and love how you can find them throughout Newfoundland including in St. John’s! My other favourite birds are seabirds, and I have a special connection with Terns (Roseates being my favourite), as I studied them for a few years.  My favourite place to bird in St. John’s is Quidi Vidi Lake; in the Goulds, Bidgoods Park is quite the gem. From warblers, raptors, and gulls, to swallows and ducks, these locations have great variety!

Beverly McClenaghan

As an avid birder and a lover of the outdoors, you can often find me exploring the wild landscapes of Newfoundland. The Atlas has been a great reason for me to discover some new corners of the province while birding! Some of my favourite moments include being deep in woods surrounded by the whistling song of the Hermit Thrush and watching Common Loons diving on a pond in the Avalon Wilderness Reserve. When I’m not in the woods, I work as an environmental research biologist in St. John’s studying the world’s biodiversity using DNA!

Region 8: St. Pierre and Miquelon

We are currently seeking a coordinator(s) for Region 8. Until then, the region is being coordinated by the Atlas Office.
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