Posts

2021 Tree Swallow Nest box Project Report For The City of Richmond

Image
You may remember I posted about the Tree Swallow Nest Box Project in the City of Richmond. You can read about it HERE and HERE . Well we drafted up a final report for the City. This was the first year for this program and it was a success, despite losing some broods to the unprecedented heat wave this summer. The city has already granted approval for the program to continue next year. We are just waiting now to see if they will approve the expansion and provide funding to add more nest boxes to other parks. We are also hoping to hear they will approve the installation of Blue-listed Purple Martin nest boxes near Garry Point Park. Purple Martin boxes require more logistics so that decision may take some more time, as it requires more funds and resources. Update: City Councillors have got back to me and said they are very eager to help initiate the Purple Martin Box project and are discussing it now with the director of Parks Services. If you like to read our report clearly in full clic

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Image
The  National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is today September 30th . It is a federally recognized day but sadly all provinces are not observing it. Many Indigenous People and chiefs have found this quite disrespectful. BC is thankfully recognizing this important day. This day was called for back in 2015 and was listed in the Truth and Reconciliation Report. This day used to be called “Orange Shirt Day.” My older sister who was adopted (is  Tsimshian from a small island off Prince Rupert). She  is a survivor of the residential school system and the sixties scoop which went on through the 60’s through the 80’s. Even though she did not go to a residential school, her mother did and the government forced her single mother at 15 to give her up to be adopted. Her mother became an alcoholic from the pain of the abuse she suffered in the residential school and for being permanently separated  with her daughter. My sister was raised by white parents who loved her but who did not (and coul

I am honoured to be a national finalist in the 2021 Nature Inspiration Awards by the Canadian Museum of Nature

Image
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Canadian Museum of Nature (@museumofnature) I was really honoured to find out not only was I nominated but I was selected by a prestigious jury to be a national finalist in the adult category of the 2021 Nature Inspiration Awards  from the Canadian Museum of Nature . There are only 4 adult finalists chosen across Canada, so this truly means a lot to me.  I was selected because of my work to promote diversity and inclusion in birding and my work with young birders and my nature work with Indigenous youth on the downtown eastside. "This awards program from the Canadian Museum of Nature recognizes adults, youth, not-for-profits and businesses that are connecting Canadians with nature and providing leadership for a sustainable future. Previous nominees have included youth or adults who initiate change through community action, teaching, and advocacy; not-for-profits that inspire Canadians through hands-on experie

Birds in the News

Image
New Study indicates that Woodpeckers may suffer brain damage The largest Whimbrel roost in the world with 20,000 birds was discovered in the US! Birds can hear Tsunamis and Hurricanes according to new study! New Study shows the link between human caused water quality issues and a lack of insects which affects birds! Nesting Herring Gulls are passing plastic toxins to their eggs and chicks. Laysan Albatross ingest more plastic than Black-footeds Elegant Trogons in SE Arizona took a catastrophic hit this year due to the drought! Hurricane Ida has coated 100 birds in oil 100's of birds sadly drop dead from the sky in Bali due to pesticides Biologists are fighting tooth and nail to save the amazing Gunnison Sage-Grouse New flashy collars on cats help protect birds but better yet keep your cat inside My friend Yousif Attia speaks with the Globe and Mail about decolonizing bird names The effect of longline fisheries on Albatross in our Pacific Ocean is devastating  Juvenile Gray-headed A

Have you ever wondered what happens inside a Purple Martin nest box?

Image
It is now September and most Purple Martins have all flown south back to SE  Brazil  (yes they fly over 8000 kms!). However, if you want to watch an incredible video of Purple Martins laying eggs in a box and rearing them to fledging age; you should watch this one my friend sent me from Squamish, BC. I guarantee that you will love these birds even more after. These long distance migrants (and the largest swallow in NA) are incredible parents. John Buchanan mounted cameras in his Purple Martin boxes in May of this year and got this incredible footage.  Facts taken from the BG Gov't website about this Blue-listed Species: "Eggs  are laid in July (Stutchbury 1991). Mating system involves monogamous pairing with extrapair fertilizations by older males. Clutch size is 3-8 (usually 4-5). Incubation lasts 15-16 days, by female. Male guards nest when females goes off to feed. Young are tended by both adults, leave nest 24-28 days after hatching (Harrison 1978), return to nest to roos

My first LONG-TAILED JAEGER in Metro Vancouver and why we need to study juv jaegers closely!

Image
You may remember my post about getting the Short-tailed Shearwater a few days ago. If not you can check it out HERE . Well during that trip we photographed a juvenile Jaeger. At the time it flew around our boat very fast near the breakwater at the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. It was also viewed from land by Rob Lyske and Yousif Attia as they stood on shore also searching for the Short-tailed Shearwater. At the time all 5 of us (on the water and on land) called it a Parasitic Jaeger (PAJA). We did so because it flew very fast not allowing for critical study and also because we defaulted to the common juvenile Jaeger seen in our waters. Also because we were fervently searching for the reported Short-tailed Shearwater we were not paying as close enough attention as we should have.  Anyways after critical photo study last night while reviewing photos on our cards we realized this was indeed a juvenile Long-tailed Jaeger (LTJA). Because this bird is very rare for Metro Vancouver and because j

Come join me on BIPOC birding walks!

Image
I am leading 2 walks this September for the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of colour) birding community. These walks are part of a series called "Birding with Me" focused on the inclusion of minority and marginalized communities such as LGBTQ+   and people of colour in Metro Vancouver's birding community. We hope to make birding more accessible to all with these walks, where birders feel safe and comfortable. These FREE walks are organized by the Stanley Park Ecology Society, The Canadian Wildlife Service, The BC Bird Trail and Birds Canada. Thank you to the Port of Vancouver for funding this series. You can register for my walks Sept 28th at Reifel  HERE   and my Oct walk at Beaver Lake will be added soon. To read a full list of all the "Birding With Me"   FREE walks that are being held during September and October (Oct events will be posted soon!) please click HERE A big thank you to these organizations that are supportive and doing the work to reach ou

The Twitch For Vancouver's 1st Short-tailed Shearwater!

Image
Two days ago, my friend Christopher Di Corrado aka CDC and his co-worker William O'Shea found a Short-tailed Shearwater during a work survey at sea. When he sent me the photo I'm like "woah! I gotta see that. Congrats CDC this is the first photo documented record for Metro Vancouver!" So I went to the ferry jetty and scanned for hours and dipped. Later around 7pm, I’m at home watching tv, when Mike Toochin calls and says we got a Shearwater sitting at the ferry terminal between the berths. Amazing! So I run down there racing against the light and I dip again but I knew I'd be there at dawn to try again.  This is a new bird for Metro Vancouver county for everyone because it is the first official record.  So we come back in the morning and scope with others and dip again.  We went to breakfast with Rob at Ricky's and then went to Boundary Bay (at the worst tide) just to try our luck at a Sharp-tailed, Buff or Ruff. We dip on all but get a Horned Lark. I had plan