Showing posts from June, 2017

Congratulations to Young Birders!

Several Young Birders are doing us all proud again.... This year Cole Gaerber got into Beaverhill Bird Observatory’s Geoff Holroyd Young Ornithologists’ Workshop in Alberta and will be attending this July. You can read about this terrific program  HERE . Also, Liron Gerstman, Joshua Glant and Logan Lalonde got into Cornell's Young Birder Event Program, which is also taking place in July. You can read about that event HERE. Last year, Cole Gaerber went to Long Point in Ontario after winning the Doug Tarry Young Ornithologists Workshop Award . Joshua Brown went to Long Point as well to take part in the Young Ornithologists' Internship a year ago. You can read about the workshop and internship HERE . Also, Liron Gerstman and Alice Sun went to Tennessee last year, when they won a NANPA High School Scholarship . You can read about that program HERE. All of these programs above, are very competitive across Canada and the USA. It is a fantastic achievement for these kids!.

Do you want to see breeding plumaged Tufted Puffins up close?

Update July 7 and 21st are sold out but tickets still available for Aug 4th. If so, you better book a trip with San Juan Cruises to Smith Island out of Bellingham, WA right away as they sell out each year! This is less than an hour from Vancouver, BC.  The trips are running for 2 days only this year on July 7 and 21 and Aug 4th, 2017 and are 90$ US and includes a yummy hot lunch. To book the trip and find out more info about the trips running this year, please click 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. To read more about my incredible experience and see my photos please click HERE One of my favorite birds, a Tufted Puffin at Smith Island, WA - Photo: Melissa Hafting

BIRD COMICS... it's better to laugh than cry


UPDATED*! -Birds in the news and update on Sidney's famous Red-tailed Hawk

1. Have you ever wondered how Crested Auklets mate? Well they have a crazy mating ritual. Feel free to read about it HERE   and watch it below if you dare. 2. This is one bird I would love to see in Canada or the US! Read this man's incredible journey in order to find the Gray-headed Chickadee  HERE 3. Hornby's Storm-Petrels have been found nesting for the 1st time ever, 50 miles from the ocean in one of the driest places on Earth. Read about it  HERE 4. Birds use cigarette butts to keep ticks out of the nest. See  HERE 5. Brightly coloured birds like the Bluethroat I saw in Nome, AK are predators favorited bird food and they know it. See  HERE 6. Last but not least... A few days ago I talked about the Young Red-tailed Hawk that is being raised by Bald Eagles in Sidney. See HERE  for my previous post. Tonight the hawk and Eagle family was featured on Global news. He was filmed taking flight but always returning back to his Bald Eagle parents and siblin

Do you have any info on Caspian Terns in the Lower Mainland?

See the below message from a researcher in need of any information that you may have on Caspian Terns in Delta, Vancouver and the whole Lower Mainland of BC. Hello everyone,  Our research group, Bird Research Northwest (partnership among Oregon State University, USGS Oregon Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and Real Time Research), would like to ask for recent information of Caspian terns in Delta and Vancouver, BC area. A large colony of Caspian terns at East Sand Island in the Columbia River estuary (near Astoria, Oregon) failed completely last week due to high pressure by predators (bald eagles, peregrine falcons, western/glaucous-winged gulls) and probable low food availability due to high river flow (marine forage fish tends to be less available in the estuary in high river flow years). Our recent survey of the Columbia River estuary and conversations with local birders on the US side of Puget Sound strongly suggest that majority of terns nested at East Sand Isl

Do you want to go to Attu or Adak?

Well if so, you should read my friend Ann Nightingale's blog describing the ups and downs of her recent amazing trip. She saw many cool Eurasian rarities and went through quite a lot to see them. It was quite different from my recent Nome experience. Take a look  HERE

Canada 150 - Canada Day Biodiversity Challenge on iNaturalist

My friend Dr. John Reynolds invited me to join this Canada Day 150 years event on iNaturalist. I just signed up and you should too! It's a great way to celebrate Canada Day by showcasing the amount of species diversity in our country. On July 1st, there's a Canada-wide BioBlitz to document as many species of everything as we can, on iNaturalist.  This grew out of a conversation John had with Colin Jones in Whitehorse, who suggested it.  All you need to do is set up an iNaturalist account at , sign up to this project  HERE , and on the 1st of July photograph species and submit them.   Plants, bugs, birds...anything.  You don't have to be able to identify it, others can do that. If you use your phone with location GPS enabled, that's the easiest way.  Download the free app.  Then it only takes about 4 clicks.  Or you can do it from your laptop if you take the photos with a camera (not on your phone). Here are more details on the ev

The most famous Red-tailed Hawk!

When I was in Nome, Kerry Finley wrote me to tell me that a young Red-tailed Hawk chick had been spotted in a Bald Eagle nest near his home in Sidney, BC. He had been watching this nest for many years but had never seen anything like this. Well I asked him to send me photos because it was truly unbelievable. He did just that and all he said was true. No one could figure out how the chick got there or how it was still alive. David Hancock was contacted (a well known biologist and expert on Bald Eagles) and he said that most likely the Hawk was brought to the nest as prey but the mothering instinct kicked in when she returned to the nest and the hawk opened its mouth squawking for food. You can read his words HERE The bird was and is being fed by its adoptive parents and there is no signs of aggression from the adult Bald Eagles or from its 3 much larger Eaglet siblings. In May there was actually 2 Red-tailed Hawk chicks in the nest but one perished (perhaps to due starvation or p

My New Blog is Finally Here!

Hi Guys, I have been asked by many of my friends to create a blog and I finally got around to it. I am a huge lover of Birds, being out in nature and experiencing different adventures. It will be fun to share my birding adventures with you. I've backdated a few posts and then will be up and running with current posts. For anyone who doesn't know me my name is Melissa Hafting aka "Birdergirl" (most people call me Mel) and I run the BC Rare Bird Alert blog, which can be found here: I love sharing sightings of rare birds all around the province and I have a good group of regional volunteers helping me in this endeavor. I love to travel and have been to 13 countries in Europe, and  to 4 in North America and to 1 in Asia. I am passionate about conservation and have a strong interest in the conservation of birds and endangered wild salmon stocks. I bird mostly in BC and WA on a regular basis and love to twitch rarities. I love photog

Young Birder Trip to Manning Park

We had a great Young Birder Trip to Manning Park today, 8 of us left Vancouver at 7 am. It was our first trip with 12 year old young birder Adam Dhalla and he fit right in with our group. We were in  a Suburban SUV and it was so fancy there was WIFI in the car, leather seats, sun roof and TV screens with with blu-ray players for the passengers. We didn't use any of this since we were birding but it was super cool. We stopped in at Hope Airport briefly to see if we found the reported Northern Mockingbird or a Western Kingbird but no dice! As we were on Hwy 3 and about 2 km before we got to the lodge, we saw 2 Black Bears. Ian spotted the first one in the gravel pit which we all got out and took pictures of as he was a safe distance away. We were happy to see he was the same bear we had seen two years ago. We could tell this due to the large scar on his snout. See our previous trip report HERE for a photo. I spotted the second one who was a Cinnamon Black Bear right by the side o