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About Bruce Di Labio

A native of Ottawa, Ontario, Bruce Di Labio's obsession with birds and birding began at the young age of 8, when he hand-tamed Black-capped Chickadees at the family cottage at Constance Bay, Ontario. From these simple beginnings emerged both a life-long passion and career in the field of birding.

In the fall of 1971, after reading the Ottawa Journal Bird Column about an upcoming Ottawa Field Naturalists bird walk, Bruce finally convinced his dad to take him to Ottawa Beach, the meeting location for Bruce's first official field trip. By chance, Bruce met Bruce Mactavish and Steve O'Donnell on the trip and there was no looking back! The addiction had set in! As time went on, the “bike gang,” as they were called, would grow to include Tom Hince, Brian Garvin, Jim Harris, Bob Gorman, Mark Gawn, Steve Gawn, Simon Gawn, Tom Plath and Mike Bentley in the early 70’s and by the mid 70’s Bernie Ladouceur, Ian Jones, Paul Jones and Bob Bracken would follow.

The early 1970s was an exciting time in Ottawa birding. With a bicycle as his only means of transportation, Bruce spent most of his free time in the early 1970s birding the Ottawa area with members of the “bike gang” and others, getting a first taste for doing “year lists” and “big days.” There was lots of friendly competition and weekend birding was quickly replaced by birding seven days-a-week! It was during this time that Bruce began leading field trips for the Ottawa Field-Naturalist's Club.

Bruce's love of birding has also taken him down some interesting career paths. During the 1980's he worked for the Canadian Museum of Nature in ornithology, and then The Canadian Nature Federation as Staff Naturalist. After leaving this post, Bruce began nature consulting and branching out in his role as teacher and tour leader for beginner birders.

In 1998, Bruce launched his own birding business “Di Labio Birding” specializing in birding courses, day-long field trips and overnight tours to regional and Canadian destinations. He has traveled extensively in North America and specializes in birding tours to many Canadian destinations, including southern Saskatchewan and the Alberta Rockies, Churchill and southwestern Manitoba, Point Pelee National Park, Moosonee and James Bay, Grand Manan Island and numerous shorter trips to various locations in Eastern Ontario. Internationally he has lead tours to Cuba, Costa Rica and Australia.

In addition, Bruce has written articles for
Nature Canada, Ontario Birds, Birders Journal and Birding, and is a regular contributor to Ontario Birding News. Bruce was a member of the champion Kowa Birding Team that successfully participated at the World Series of Birding in New Jersey and the Texas Birding Classic. Locally, Bruce was the team captain of the Bushnell Nighthawks who competed in the Taverner Cup competition in Eastern Ontario, which was held each May for eight years.

Bruce resides in the village of Carp west of Ottawa, with his wife Laurie, and their two children Julie-Anne and Benjamin.