Showing posts from January, 2023


I wanted to update you all about my Tree Swallow and Purple Martin Nestbox projects with the City of Richmond. If you are interested please read our 2022 Tree Swallow Nestbox report HERE . It was a successful year in 2022 with over 115 young successfully fledged! We lost 37 birds to the heat wave though. Reading this report will be helpful so you understand why I am adding heat shields and ventilation holes and painting the boxes white. Tree Swallow nestbox with heat shield at Garden City Lands - Photo: Melissa Hafting Over the last few years we have had a lot of success with this project and have had so many more boxes occupied than in the first year.  Unfortunately, the unprecedented heat waves both years, have caused some chicks and even an adult to succumb to the heat. To prevent those losses I recommended to the city to put on heat shields and vent holes with mesh and to paint the boxes white. Scientific Studies have shown as detailed in the report that heat shields and white boxe

Young Birder Rock Sandpiper Twitch!

Happy Young Birders after getting their lifer Rock Sandpiper - Photo: Melissa Hafting Well we got nine youth together and we biked out to the end of the south jetty in order to attempt to get them their lifer Rock Sandpiper!  We had a great time riding out but I could tell the youth were anxious at the fast rate they were pedaling the 4km out in order to get to the end. Who can blame them really?! When we got to the end there were many friendly familiar  HAPPY faces. The bird was not visible at the moment and a hovercraft had gone by honking and the shorebirds flushed. We could see Sanderling, Westerns and Dunlin. They all came back but the Rock Sandpiper was not visible (probably hiding in the rocks). I assured the kids not to panic and that it would be back. All of a sudden, I spotted it in flight and then it landed on a log and then on a rock in front of us, giving everyone present, awesome views. You could notice how much darker it was and of course the yellow legs and yellow basal

Young Birder Delta CBC - Jan 1st, 2023

Some (not all) of the young birders at the CBC 4 Youth today - Photo: Melissa Hafting We had an epic start to our new year during the Delta youth CBC held on Jan 1st at Reifel. Coming in to Reifel many of the youth stopped for the Townsend's Solitaire (TOSO) and California Scrub-Jays in the Ladner townsite. Early in the morning the TOSO was calling loudly. I made a recording you can listen to here . Some of the youth arriving at Reifel - Photo: Jim Lai We met at 9 am and had 21 youth! It was a large group today and some youth came down sick or were out of town so couldn't make it. We had 73 species in the park. We started off by seeing 2 Black-crowned Night-Herons at the entrance. We then proceeded on and saw a Mallard X Northern Pintail Hybrid which was cool. Anica spotted some Bald Eagle adults in the sunshine which makes you really appreciate the beauty of these elegant raptors. Adult Black-crowned Night-Heron at Reifel - Photo: Daniel Graca Northern Pintail X Mallard Drake