Showing posts from April, 2021

BC Young Birders discover rare (Type 7) Red Crossbill breeding in BC

Joshua Brown and Liron Gertsman have published a paper with Matt Young (of the Finch Network) to discuss their incredible find of the first recorded breeding evidence of a rare (Type 7) Red Crossbill in BC. This bird likely is more common in BC than we realize but Liron and Josh are the first to prove the fact that they bred. They were so excited to share this with me as we texted back and forth during their trip up north. It is so nice to see their find published in this manner. You can read their paper below which was published in the recent BCFO British Columbia Birds Journal . Joshua Brown has the beautiful cover image of one of the male Type 7's. Congrats to these two amazing young birders who are continuing to do the BC Birding community proud!

Read my new article about birds for CBC

CBC asked me to write an article for them about how birding has helped me and others during the pandemic and other difficult times. I hope you enjoy it, you can read it HERE Birding can help you to cope through the hardest times in life - Photo of a Yellow-headed Blackbird by Melissa Hafting 

A few cool things to check out to get your mind off the pandemic!

*Recently I posted an open question to my Instagram followers. I asked them "How has birding helped them cope through the pandemic?." I got over 100 responses and they were all so positive and beautiful. It was  cathartic, moving and heart warming to read them all. It continues to reinforce why we must protect these birds in order for our mental wellness and to secure our future as a human race. If you want to read them and have a dose of positivity, which we all need now, please click HERE *Young Birder Adam Dhalla did a delightful  interview with CBC’s “Early Edition” about the new game “ Find the Birds ” he co-created. You can listen to this well-spoken young man HERE Also see him featured in this video on Vancouver Is Awesome! Western Meadowlark graphic designed by Adam Dhalla for the game *If you like orcas you need to give this podcast a listen. I don't think I've ever heard a more descriptive narrator. I could visualize everything he did as he dove with these w

New Study tests out humane GoodNature Traps (as an alternative to rat poison) on Delta Farms

Sofi Hindmarch was contracted out to test out the Goodnature Traps (I’ve talked about a lot on this blog) on several farms in Delta earlier this year. GoodNature Traps are a non-toxic, humane alternative to rodenticides.  A video to show how these traps work: The take-home message of this report: ·        GoodNature trap is another tool in the toolbox to control for rodents. ·        For Goodnature traps to work effectively, one should first: 1.        Implement preventative measures such as removing resources and shelter for rats, or else uptake of trap would be low. This is because rats are neophobic and will not try new food sources if they already have a steady supply of food available to them (e.g. hen feed). 2.        Always use lure cards to guide the later installation of GoodNature traps. It will help you find locations where rats are comfortable eating and also it helps you assess if you have a rat problem to begin with. ·        GoodNature blocker should be used to pre

A few community zoom events you don't want to miss!

In celebration of Earth month the Stanley Park Ecological Society is offering a great array of free webinars. You can registere on eventbrite and see the full series of events HERE [ : The topics are really important topics. I am looking forward to attending some of these!

The magic of Brown Creepers

My friend Chris Dale from Squamish is an excellent videographer. If you don’t subscribe to his YouTube account make sure you do!. I always love to hear about his cool finds in the beautiful Squamish River Valley. I love Brown Creepers. I know they are very hard to photograph as they move so fast up and down the tree. Chris told me he stood in place for 4 hours to obtain this 4 mins of footage, of a pair of Brown Creepers building a nest. It is quite incredible and something one rarely gets to see, so I wanted to share it with you. 3 weeks ago, he also got one of the Creepers singing it’s heart out. Enjoy!

The different mentalities between Birders and Photographers...

Prominent bird photographer Scott Keyes  from Pennsylvania featured me in his new youtube video "Why Birders Struggle with Bird Photography." You may think this may be an offensive title but far from!. He talks about the different mindsets and approaches between birders and photographers and their intended outcomes. Since I am more of a birder than photographer I am being featured in the birder category. I feel most of what he says to be very true. It was an honour to be featured and that he admires my work!. Thanks again to Scott, I loved this video that celebrates the strengths and weaknesses of both birders and photographers and how we both bring something unique and special to this hobby.

The dangers of solo birding when you are a woman and what we can do to keep ourselves safe

With the recent attacks on women, reports of women being followed while out walking in local birding spots like UBC and Burnaby Lake  and allegations of sexual assaults  this year by prominent male birders on women birders, I felt I had to speak out. Not to mention you may remember a case of a 73 year old women birder who was raped  a few years ago while birding in Central Park in NYC. You may also remember a famous female birder was gang-raped while birding in Papua New Guinea. Also with the ever increase of systemic racism in Canada, with many attacks right now on minorities, especially Asian Canadian  women; I felt it is time to do something to help women birders in my community. I recently posted about an excellent article by Sabrina Hepburn called "Safety and The Solo Birder" which was first published by the American Birding Association's Birding Magazine. You can read my blog post and the article in full  HERE . Birding solo is more dangerous for Black, Indigenous

Young Birder Adam Dhalla’s New Birding Game App is out!

Young Birder Adam Dhalla’s who co-created the new Birding app game called “ Find the Birds ” is now out for free download on the Google Play and Apple App Stores!. It’s a fun free game that I tested out and finished the AZ part. It’s very easy, fun and straightforward for anyone to follow and play. The game starts off in Saguaro National Park in Arizona before moving on to see Condors at the Navajo Bridge. In July a new level will be added which will be in BC. You need a tablet or a smart phone (Apple or Android) to use it. It’s ideal for young birders as you collect birds and learn about conservation at the same time. The graphics are super cool too! You can watch a trailer for the cool game here at the video link below: “Find the Birds   is a free-to-download, free-to-play educational mobile game for all ages about birds & conservation. It was co-created by 15-year-old Adam Dhalla.  Players travel the globe searching for birds and do conservation quests to help them. The first in

Excellent Article about the plight of the Fraser River Estuary in the Globe and Mail

You can read an excellent article in the Globe and Mail today by journalist Margaret Munro. It talks about photographers going into the marsh at Brunswick Point, which I’ve discussed previously on this blog  HERE  Margaret goes into great detail about several conservation issues that are issues of crisis now in the Metro Vancouver area; from The Delta Port Expansion to YVR expansion and more. It is well worth a read and hopefully empowers  every reader to stand up against development to further protect these vulnerable species and their critical habitats. Read the piece  HERE Northern Harrier in the Fraser River Delta - Photo: Melissa Hafting