Bird, Hazel

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Bird, Hazel

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        Hazel Bird was a recognized naturalist known especially for her work in restoring the bluebird population of Northumberland County. Born in Northumberland County, Bird served in World War II where she met her husband, Tom Bird. The couple resided in Harwood, Ontario and had seven children; in the 1950s Tom Bird died due to a boating accident. In the 1960s, Hazel Bird initiated the Eastern Bluebird restoration project in Northumberland County and continued to coordinate and lead this project for almost 40 years; with the help of volunteers, “The Bluebird Lady,” as she was sometimes referred to, erected, monitored, and recorded information about the bird boxes until an accident in 2004 prevented her from doing so and resulted in the termination of the project. Bird was involved in many naturalist organizations in Ontario including the Ontario Outdoors Educator’s Council, The Willow Beach Field Naturalists and the Willow Beach Young Naturalists. She also taught classes, first as a volunteer, and then as a paid employee at the Laurie Lawson Outdoor Education Centre in Cobourg and was recognized for her work in 1996 receiving the Ontario Eastern Bluebird Society Conservation Award. In that same year it was announced by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife of Canada that the Eastern Bluebird, which had been designated as a “rare bird” since 1984, was no longer considered a species at risk. Bird died 1 February 2009. In 2012 the Nature Conservancy of Canada designated the Hazel Bird Nature Reserve in Ontario’s Rice Lake Plains in her honour.


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