Showing posts from August, 2017

Seeing Northern Spotted Owls and the conclusion to my North American Owl Big Year!

This weekend Ilya and I went hiking in the mountains of Washington and we were blessed to see 3 Northern Spotted Owls. These owls are endangered. In BC they are basically extirpated with less than a dozen left in the wild. In Washington the species is not doing well and there are about 200 birds left in the state. Every time I see one I feel truly blessed to be in their presence. I have never seen a more curious and beautiful creature. They climb up and down the tree branches like parrots. All 3 of them flew in separately to us over the  2 days we were present. We found one baby the first day and no other owls. Dead tired we returned to the same spot and hiked up a tough incline where we found mom. The female flew within arms length and stayed with us the whole time, while we sat beneath her and at times at eye level. It was a magical experience in a most peaceful setting far away from any people and cell service. On the way down the mountain we were greeted by not one 1 baby but 2

Listen to my birding interviews on CBC Radio on Sept 2 and 3

I will be doing several interviews about birding this weekend. Subjects covered will be women in birding, youth in birding and themodern birding culture in Canada. For those listeners from BC I will be doing a radio interview on CBC Radio One's program "North by Northwest" with host Sheryl Mackay on Saturday Sept 3rd it airs at 7:10am. You can listen live online  HERE I will post a link later for those who can't listen live. The other programs across the country are listen below check local listings on CBC Radio One's website here . Each show will also post the interviews online and/or on their respective websites a day or so after it airs. NEWFOUNDLAND  - "Weekend AM" Host: Heather Barrett Air Time: 6-9:30am on Sat Sept 2, 2017 Show Website SASKATCHEWAN - "Saskatchewan Weekend"  Host:  Shauna Powers  Airs: 6-9am on Sat Sept 2, 2017 Show Website OTTAWA - "In Town and Out"   Host: Giacomo Panico Air

Female Birdsong is finally getting the attention it deserves and here's how you can submit data to help

New research has proven that female birds do Sing. Many field guides say it is only the males that sing and it was a general opinion held by ornithologists, but new studies prove this isn't so. Sexism is a prevalent thing in modern society and in the birding world but it seems sexism even exists with our view on the birds. Field guides state in general that male song is a complex set of vocalizations produced by the males only in breeding season and that any female birdsong is an abberation. This is just factually untrue as the new study proves that song is ancestral in all songbirds and that at least 71% of female birds in 32 families that were studied sing full songs. You can read the updated interesting article on it from April 2017 HERE . You can also read the full research study "Female song is widespread and ancenstral in songbirds"  HERE . Female birds sing a lot more than we ever thought and scientists are collecting data and are calling citizens to submit t

Countdown to the 2018 Vancouver International Ornithological Conference. Register now for Tours!

I am excited that this event is a year away! I have been involved in this event since the beginning planning stages, as I am part of the group organizing all Young Birders activities and Field Trips at the conference. I will also be guiding a 3 day shorebirding tour for adults with Ilya Povalyaev. The Vancouver International Bird Festival organized by my friend Rob Butler will run at the same time and will have fantastic events for birders and families of all ages. The website for the festival is HERE. So many people have put so much hard work into this amazing event, especially Bob Elner, Rob Butler, Krista DeGroot and George Clulow and that is just the beginning of a  long list of hundreds of people! Thanks to everyone for your hard work on this and for promoting birding in the city of Vancouver. I am especially grateful for the support I have received with the young birder IOC program I am working on. It is nice to see the Young Birders promoted and acting as ambassadors at t


As per request, here are some tips that I hope will be helpful in identifying and differentiating Red-necked Stint from Little Stint. I will also do a brief intro on Long-toed and Temminck's Stint... if you build it they will come right?😉 Red-necked and Little Stints look very much alike in worn breeding plumage. The amount of Red on the face, throat and breast in Red-necked Stint is vary variable). They look even more alike in non-breeding plumage, that is why it is essential to learn structural differences to separate the two. They are similar to Semipalmated Sandpipers as well as Sanderlings. Both species are often confused for Red-necked Stints. Little Stints rarely get confused with Sanderling because they have a hind toe which helps differentiate it from this species. Sanderlings in breeding or worn breeding are usually confused with Red-necked Stints but they are much larger than Red-necked Stints. Let's first start with Bills in this complicated ID proces