Showing posts from July, 2021

Reflections On A Killdeer And Other Recent Photos

This killdeer is a bird I should never have taken for granted - Photo: Melissa Hafting I thought it was time to post some recent photos I have taken. Killdeer are often hard to ignore. You see and hear them everywhere and we (myself included) often pass them by. I took the time to really photograph one properly, to try and do this beautiful bird justice. They really are an attractive shorebird. The black-ringed chest, red eye-ring, reddish mantle and white belly... they are true stunners. When one perched on top of an elegant perch I couldn't ignore him and took several shots. Killdeer in Richmond - Photos: Melissa Hafting Also my friend Graham Sunderland found an Indigo Bunting recently at Colony Farm and I got the pleasure to photograph that beauty. Male Indigo Bunting in Coquitlam - Photos: Melissa Hafting I will end with an always attractive Yellow-headed Blackbird that posed for me this month. A male Yellow-headed Blackbird is always fun to see - Photos: Melissa Hafting

Great News! The Province Has Temporarily Banned Rodenticides!

We are one step closer to a permanent provincial ban on the sale and use of rodenticides.  This has been a day I have been waiting for and fighting for over many years.  You can read the full news release  HERE This is just temporary (18 month ban) but it’s a step in the right direction. You can see there are many exemptions but great things don’t happen overnight. Policy changes take time. We can only hope that it will lead to a full ban. This is a huge step for the province and I’m so glad they listened. Activism really works and that’s why it’s so vital we keep speaking up against these issues!!. Thanks to everyone who signed petitions and wrote their MLAs and MPs. Thank you to Minister George Heyman for listening to us and meeting with us. I actually had tears in my eyes when the news release came out. It has been such a long hard struggle but science has won out and will continue to. I believe we have made a difference here for owls, raptors and mammals that have for so long died

Please read my new WBT article about 10 BC Young Birders!

I was asked by Wild Bird Trust (WBT) to do a follow up to their last feature on BC’s Young Birders. See my previous post on that  HERE . For this interview I was to write about the next generation of BC’s amazing young birders. I chose 10 young birders under 25yrs that would be featured in a new article for the summer 2021 issue of WBT’s Wingspan magazine. Take a second to read this below and learn more about these inspiring young birders in the BC Birding Community. The full magazine is mailed out to members and later will be available for free download on their website. You can read the article properly in PDF format HERE The Young Birders featured are  from Tofino, Kelowna and the Metro Vancouver area. They are as follows: Evan Larson, Kalin Oca ñ a ,  Liron Gerstman,  Cameron Montgomery, James Park , Daniel Graca, Emma Reader-Lee, Viktor Vandereyk, Toby Theriault and  Raymond Liu. Thanks to WBT for asking me to do this and for being so passionate about these amazing youth and for s

Listen To My Interview on the Bird Banter Podcast!

I was recently asked to do an interview on the Bird Banter Podcast with Ed Pullen out of Washington.  We had a fun conversation about birding in BC, Young Birders, the BC Rare Bird Alert and more. Thanks to Ed Pullen and the Bird Banter Podcast for having me on. You can take a listen and read about it  HERE or click "play" below to listen:

Congratulations to BC Young Birders Evan and Cam!

I told Young Birder Evan Larson and Cameron Montgomery that they should apply to the Beaverhill Bird Observatory’s Geoff Holroyd Young Ornithologists’s Workshop in Alberta. This year it was even more competitive than usual because Long Point’s Young Birder Workshop is closed due to covid. Evan and Cam applied, I wrote the recommendation letter for them cause they are amazing and they got in!. The passion and enthusiasm and skill these youth have is something else!. There were only 10 spots available across Canada. Congrats Evan and Cam!! I can’t wait to hear about your upcoming workshop week in August and all the lifers you get!.  Other young birders from BC (Cole, Sasha and Kalin) who got in during previous years went and loved it!. To read more about this program and how to apply for next year (if you are between the ages of 15-18 yrs old), please click HERE Cole Gaerber (2nd from left) at a previous Beaverhill young birder workshop in Alberta 

COSEWIC status changes and Birds Canada commitment to making birding more inclusive

The new report by COSEWIC has come out and there is good news and bad news for several species. Ross’s Gull is now listed as endangered and no chicks have fledged from the known Canadian breeding colony in 17 years. Sadly Short-eared Owl has had declines of up to 30% in Canada and has changed status from Special Concern to Threatened. I am sure you have noticed those declines even at Boundary Bay and Brunswick that the numbers are down. The COSEWIC press release notes that Christmas Bird Counts have noticed significant declines.  Chestnut-collared Longspur is now unfortunately listed as Endangered from Threatened. It has had a population decline of over 50%. Band-tailed Pigeon remains at Special Concern but is losing breeding habitat due to urbanization and it won’t be long it seems before it is also listed as threatened. For some positive news now: Barn Swallow is no longer listed as threatened but is now listed a special concern and  Ferruginous Hawk has been moved from Threatened t

I was on the Canada Day episode of the ABA podcast

Nate Swick from the American Birding Association (ABA) asked me to join the ABA podcast for Canada Day. I was asked to take part alongside Jody Allair from Birds Canada and Jared Clarke from Newfoundland.  We had a fun chat about the joys of birding in Canada. It was an honour and fun to take part.  This Canada Day is a day of reflection for many due to the recent horrific discoveries of unmarked and mass graves of Indigenous children in Residential Schools across Canada. So far in Cranbrook, Kamloops, Manitoba and Saskatchewan and there will be more to come. Prime Minister Trudeau asked for the Canadian flag to be lowered to half mast today on Parliament Hill. The host made note of this before we began to talk about birding. This day is one for us to celebrate the beautiful birds, animals and landscape from coast to coast, positive achievements of diverse Canadians, the resilience of Indigenous Peoples and the freedoms held in Canada. However, it is also a day of reflection and sad