Posts

A Young Birder's Photographs are featured, Chasing Rarities is good for the economy & Unchecked hunting in Tunisia is decimating bird populations

An interesting news story worth a read on the positive effects that "twitching" has on the local economy can be found HERE. Twitchers may burn gas to go see birds, which isn't great for the environment but compared to a lot of other hobbies; our ecological footprint is small. Also most birders put a lot of money into conservation and eco-tourism to help local populations. To read an in depth research paper on the topic of the economic benefits of "vagrant chasers", clickHERE.

To read about yet another country that is allowing large-scale unchecked hunting (with no set limits on numbers of birds taken) of common and endangered species click HERE. This has become a huge problem in the Mediterranean, in Western Europe and Asia. The time to end this absurdity is now before we lose whole bird populations. The lucky birds that are caught are shot quickly, others are trapped in nets or glued in distressing manners before being killed. They suffer enough hardship alre…

This bird can imitate a chainsaw and camera! Plus new sub-species of bird discovered...

Image
This Lyrebird from Australia can imitate over 20 birds but it has also learnt to imitate other sounds. It imitates the birders who take photos of it by mimicking the camera shutter. It also can imitate the sound of chainsaws, which makes you a bit sad as you know those chainsaws must be close and destroying their habitat since it has learnt to imitate it.

Anyways the Lyrebird is remarkable and you can watch David Attenborough's encounter with it below:



Also a new bird was discovered in Australia. It too is impacted by us humans...watch the view below:



This last video was brought to you by this lovable old Coot I met at Reifel yesterday.


Enter the 2018 IOC Photo Contest!

In conjunction with the 27th International Ornithological Congress and the Vancouver International Bird Festival, being held Aug 19-26th 2018 in Vancouver Canada, the Pacific Wildlife Foundation of British Columbia is sponsoring a bird photo contest in honor of the Congress and in support of bird conservation.

The contest is open to adults 18 years of age and older. The contest is international and entries from around the world are encouraged. Birds photographed must be wild and not be baited.

Prizes:  1st Prize  -  Digital Camera provided by Nikon and $500 CDN
2nd Prize -  $500 CDN 
3rd Prize  -  $250 CDN    

For more details on how to enter click HERE

New "bird of prey movie" and new book on Vancouver Island's birds

Image
A new movie about the endangered Philippine Eagle made by Cornell is coming out soon

You can watch the trailer below:



There are less than 800 of these birds left in the wild. Read more about the movie HERE.


Also my friend Adrian Dorst is coming but out with a new book "The birds of Vancouver Island's West Coast." The book looks fantastic and you can read more about it and pre order it HERE.



NAZCA BOOBIES, A GARGANEY, YELLOW-BILLED MAGPIES AND MORE IN CALIFORNIA

Image
I went to California for a few days and ended up seeing some good stuff. I based myself at the in Rancho Mirage (near Palm Springs) and headed first to the Coachella Valley Preserve in Desert Hot Springs. I went there because I heard that quite a few Bell's Sparrows had been seen there this year. Within 30 mins I had one but only one. I also found a Northern Saw-Whet Owl huddled under the huge palm leaves in the thousand palms grove oasis there. It was so nice to walk under there because it gave respite from the 30 degree heat. In the dry sage scrub I also saw Cactus Wrens, Gambel's Quails, Sage Thrashers, Northern Mockingbirds and many Yellow-rumped Warblers, just to name a few. I only saw that one Bell's Sparrow and could not bring him up for a photo even after pishing and playing the tape briefly. I let him be and enjoyed watching the Common Ravens and American Kestrels hunting lizards in the desert.



The next birding location I went to during my trip was Big Mo…

A walk around Reifel with a Hutton's Vireo

Image
This weekend I went to Reifel and had a pleasant walk. I first came across the resident Great Horned Owl after Jim Martin had found it, on a nice open perch. I also had a nice encounter with a Ring-necked Duck. I have been trying to work on my duck photography. It is much harder than it looks and Ring-neckeds have been one on my "to photograph" list. I got the chance today and even got the neck ring to show on film! They usually are more skittish in my experience.

I hand fed the Sandhill Cranes. It is amazing how gentle they can be with their long beaks. I saw many brown-creepers, common redpolls and chickadees. I also got a photograph of a bird I have been wanting to photograph for years, a Hutton's Vireo. I have seen many of course, as they live in the lower mainland year round but photographing one is another story. Although, they move slower than their confusing cousins, the Ruby-crowned Kinglet, they have always moved too fast for me.


On Sunday, one gave me a nice …

The hidden world of BC Birders

My friend Murray Brown just did a newspaper interview about BC Birders and how nuts they are. He also talked about what is  happening sadly to so many parts of our community; habitat destruction and loss of wildlife, due to urban development.

Read the article from the Agassiz-Harrison Observer HERE

One of the most amazing bird stories you will ever hear..

Image
If you are feeling sad or down today watch this video...

The animal human bond is amazing and this story about a wild penguin will touch your heart and make you even more in awe about nature than ever before.


The Steller's Eider Twitch

Image
I went down to Oregon to see the Steller's Eider. I wanted to go the day Adrian Hinkle found it on Jan 13th but couldn't. It was the last Eider species I needed, having seen Spectacled, King and Common in Nome, AK. I was glad to have Nexus this time. I am not sure why I waited so long to get Nexus. It costs 50$ for 5 years and saves you no line ups. It is definitely worth it. I had planned to do a few days of birding in the Pacific Northwest but the weather had other plans for me. Traffic was awful as usual through Seattle and Tacoma. It is simply awful driving through that in rush hour, in a standard. It eased at Olympia and then was smooth sailing. I stayed at the Motel 6 in Seaside, it was only 50$ and very clean and quiet and 2 mins from the Eider.

I went to bed with dreams of Steller's Eiders. When I woke up I checked the Oregon Listserve and saw someone had seen it at 8:20 am. I get there about 9 am (I was tired as I got in at midnight the night before) and do not s…