Flammulated Owls, Great Grays and Poorwills, a great way to spend a birthday.

Young Birder Bridget and I decided at the spur of the moment to head up to the interior for a girl's weekend away. She got some great lifers and we had an amazing time.

Bridget ended up getting a lifer Canyon Wren, Flammulated Owl and Boreal Chickadee. She also got a BC bird which was a Veery. It was really cool to see the Veery feeding young as well.

We went poorwilling one night and found 10 Common Poorwills. I finally got a semi decent shot of one of these guys. Night photography and I don't meld well. Shortly after taking this photo I heard the call of a Flammulated Owl. Bridget didn't hear the low hoots right away but eventually she did. She thought the owl sounded far but I explained to her that Flams tend to throw their voices. They can appear really close when they are far away and be really close when they sound far. We ended up getting fabulous views of this  Flammulated Owl but at that point it was too dark for my photographic skill level. For the Poorwill phot…

Steve Cannings a BC Naturalist we should be thankful for

The Penticton Herald published an article today on the late Steve Cannings. Steve Cannings is the father of well known biologist, author and MP Richard Cannings. He is also the grandfather to my friend, naturalist Russell Cannings.

This article is well worth a read as it depicts Steve's incredible and varied life and all the things he did in the Okanagan and the province of BC to preserve nature and the birds we love. If it weren't for him several of the birding spots we visit may not even exist or be urban developments. He had the foresight to see an plan ahead and protect this valuable area for all future generations to enjoy.

His love of nature and birds was passed down to his children and grandchildren continuing his legacy.

To read the article please click HERE

New documentary on Famous Vancouver Crow named "Canuck"

The new documentary "Canuck and I" came out today about the famous Crow, that is capturing the hearts of all Vancouverites and those around the world. Ornithologist Rob Butler is also in the film which discusses the mental health benefits of the human to bird (animal) bond.

Click HERE to watch the full video.

Beware of bug glue traps that are killing birds!

Thanks to Guy Monty for sharing this article today that was featured on CBC News. Unfortunately wasp and bug glue traps that are being sold all over North America are trapping and killing birds at an alarming rate. This lady who put it up in Ontario who is featured in the article had 7 adorable chickadees stuck to it. They tried to rip the birds off but could not and all 7 died a painful and stressful death. Please do not put up these traps in your yard. Kudos to Loblaws for making a proactive decision and removing them from their shelves. Let's hope this company "Trapstick" goes out of business or at least rebuilds the product so that birds can't get stuck. Perhaps they could put fine metal bars around it so only bugs can get in and not birds. Until such a thing happens I hope the product is recalled and removed from all store shelves.

To read the full CBC arcticle please click HERE

Young Birder Trip to Mount Cheam

Yesterday, 7 of us hiked up Mount Cheam in Chilliwack in search of White-tailed Ptarmigan. We were inspired by my friend Dave Beeke who recently went up there and got Ptarmigan. He actually goes every year and usually gets the bird. In 2006 Roger and Andrew Foxall, Carlo Giovanella and Ilya Povalyaev found 5 Rock Ptarmigan and 11 White-tailed Ptarmigans on the mountain! I rented a 4wd SUV because the road is not passable for a 2WD. This is not an exaggeration, it was the worst road I have ever driven. Even with a 4WD you need to be very cautious, as some 4WD drivers got stuck. It is a narrow winding high mountain gravel road with large rolling hills and ditches where you can bottom out with huge potholes and large rocks. It was an adventure that is for sure, and this year the road is particularly bad.

We made it safely to the top with our 8 seater, 4WD Ford Expedition SUV that the kids call "The Tank". The parking lot was full at the top but we found a spot further down the…

The most famous Red-tailed Hawk is eating fish on the ground just like a Bald Eagle!

Watch this incredible footage of the little Red-tailed Hawk who grew up in a family of three Eaglets and 2 Bald Eagle Parents. He is imprinted now on Bald Eagles. He looks and acts just like one, as you can see here in the video below. He is standing over a large salmon carcass, just like a Bald Eagle would and he's eating the decaying flesh. Red-tailed Hawks like to eat voles and rabbits etc. not fish! Imprinting is usually irreversible according to raptor expert David Bird. However, I hope it's reversible so that he doesn't attempt to mate with a Bald Eagle, as the Eagle would kill him because it would view him as a Hawk.

Eagle expert David Hancock said that the bird will likely starve and get killed by an eagle. He said this possibly can be prevented if someone grabs it and takes it to OWL.
At the rehab facility he could then be retrained to hunt prey that Red-tailed Hawks would normally eat. He would also only associate with Red-tailed Hawks there, until he can
be rel…

Magic Moments with Red-necked Grebes and a Great Gray Owl

Well I went for a hike in the interior yesterday and came across some incredible things. As I was traipsing through the woods I ran into a sleeping beauty, a Great Gray Owl. His eyes look black here because he is just squinting to see who I am. I left him so he could resume his slumber. I have had some great moments with Boreal Birds recently. You can see my previous post on the ones I've seen, including a Northern Hawk-Owl HERE.

I also wanted to share a moving moment I had with a family of Red-necked Grebes. I saw 2 chicks but there could have been one more under the adult's wings. One little baby was poking his head out of mom or dad's back. I love watching Grebes, Loons and Swans with the young riding around on the adults' back, it's so special. One of the adults was out collecting food for the family. I am always amazed to see how good parents most birds are. I feel the same way when I watch this with loons. If you want to see my loon photos with chicks on the…

Bird Predation By Praying Mantises: A Global Perspective

The Wilson Journal of Ornithology published an article about how Praying Mantises kill Hummingbirds. It is absolutely horrible as the hummer suffers terribly as it is eaten alive. The Mantis is just being an effective predator but if you see one on your feeder immediately remove the Mantis from the feeder.You can read the full paper HERE.You can read a news story on it HERE.

Horned and Tufted Puffins near to Vancouver (Tix Available) and an accommodating Red-necked Stint! Also news on WA pelagics.

If you booked a trip with San Juan Cruises to Smith Island out of Bellingham, WA on July 21st you should be in for a good time. My friend Bill Tweit told me that the WDFW reported on July 9th that they had 14 Tufted Puffins and 1 Horned Puffin! The Horned Puffin has been seen twice in a week which is absolutely incredible as it is a real rarity in the area.

The July 21st trip is now sold out but there is an August 4th trip running and you can buy tickets and read more info about the upcoming trip HERE.

I took this trip with friends last year on July 30, 2016 and absolutely loved it. We saw over 20 puffins in breeding plumage right up close, Ancient and Marbled Murrelets and a Long-tailed Jaeger. You never know just what you will find out there!

To read more about my incredible experience and see my photos please click HERE.

Also my friend Ryan Merrill along with Adrian Lee found a Red-necked Stint at Crockett Lake on July 8th at Whidbey Island in WA. The bird is still showing wel…

Has the mystery of the famous Sidney Red-tailed Hawk been solved?

Raptor experts David Hancock and David Bird sit down for their perspective on the issue. They believe it was brought to the nest with its sibling as live prey and they had a change of heart. David Hancock answers the question I had which was "how can they can carry a Red-tailed Hawk chick with those mighty talons and not maim or kill the chicks?." You can see the answer at the link below. It is very interesting to know that this hawklet is imprinted on the Bald Eagles and thinks he is an Eagle. I hope he doesn't try to mate with one because that will not end well as they explain. David Hancock unfortunately thinks it will be killed by a Bald Eagle or will starve to death; since it doesn't know how to hunt like a Red-tailed Hawk. They also believe the bird is a male. You can see the full interview below:

By the way, this is not the first time a Red-tailed Hawk has been found in an Eagle's Nest. Miles Brown found one in Michigan in 2011, when he was banding Bald E…