Showing posts from May, 2023

Purple Martins are nesting at the new Richmond Colony!

Just wanted to update to let you know we have a pair of Purple Martins nesting at the new colony I started at Garry Point Park in Richmond! I will keep monitoring but wanted to share this news because it’s exciting that a pair found the colony so fast. Hopefully this attracts new Martins to the boxes. Information signs with QR codes are now placed in front of the boxes too. Info sign placed by City of Richmond with QR code at Garry Point Park - Photo: Melissa Hafting You can read more about the installation process HERE . Also while doing my Tree Swallow nest box checks I found one box with 7 eggs! This is the largest clutch size I’ve seen to date. I am happy to report almost all of the Tree Swallow nest boxes have eggs in them. The Sandwich holes have worked to protect against Flicker damage and the heat shields and white boxes have not deterred the birds. Now the real test will be how they hold up during any heat waves and if they spare fledgling and adult Tree Swallow lives. Cheers

I am a judge for the 2023 Nature Canada Photo Contest. Entries are now open for this Free Contest!

I am honoured to be chosen as a judge for the 2023 Nature Canada Awards. You can read about the full panel of judges HERE . You can read how to enter HERE and learn more about the prize to be won (a 5 day trip!), and the various entry categories.  The contest runs from May 23, 2023 to Aug 13, 2023.  This contest is completely FREE to enter and the entry is very easy. You can use the form at the link above to submit, or enter via social media or email! It is open to all Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents. A full list of RULES can be found HERE Thank you to Nature Canada for asking me to be part of this awesome contest. This photography contest is only open to ethical photographers, practicing ethical photography.

Another Mother’s Day Without My Mom

My mom loved being a grandmother to little Parker - Photo: Melissa Hafting This is my second Mother’s Day without my mother. I miss you every day mom, especially today. You were a wonderful mother and grandmother.  There is not a day I do not think of you. There is not a day I do not miss you. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t love you. I still cry all the time over losing you. Thank you for everything you ever did for me and for loving me. Next month I need to go through my first Father’s Day without my Dad. It is so hard to survive without both of you but I will always be grateful I had you and was able to love you. You and Dad were the greatest gifts I ever had in my entire life.  This year we have had unprecedented numbers of Mountain Bluebirds, which has warmed my heart, when I see one I can feel you in every place I visit. Time doesn’t heal your loss one bit but life grows around the grief. The sadness comes in intense waves. My heart hurts without you and will forever

Radio feature with CBC

I was recently honoured to be featured on CBC Radio One’s “North By Northwest” with Margaret Gallagher. We went for a walk around Iona and she interviewed me. You can listen to the interview HERE


Went up to Kamloops today to see a Snowy Egret that Andrew Klassen found yesterday at Overlander's Park. The bird was walking around and foraging on the Thompson River right up close. I took my 8 month old pup "Pipit" with me. When we got there not a soul was there. There were no birders or anything except a lone elderly gentleman drinking some coffee with his walker. I am not sure how he got down the steep embankment but there he was. He was real friendly and we got to chatting. He loved my dog and you could see the joy the dog was bringing him. He told me that he recently lost his dog to cancer.  He asked if he could hold and play with "Pip" while I photographed the Egret. I said "sure!"  The Snowy Egret was very tame, allowing me to approach it quite close, as it happily fed along the river bank. It was a real special moment. This was the 450th bird species I had seen in the province of BC. Two days prior I had been fortunate enough to see a White-t

Watching Sharp-tailed Grouse Dance

Closeup of the face of a male Sharp-tailed Grouse while dancing on the lek - Photo: Melissa Hafting I t is always a blessing to be in the presence of lekking threatened Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse. The sounds, the dance… it is all so magical to be a witness to it. Grassland birds are suffering steep declines across their range and are impacted by agriculture, development, pesticides, climate change and fires. 60% of grassland birds in Canada have disappeared since the 1970’s. We must do all we can to conserve and save our grassland habitats so that grassland birds and these grouse in particular can dance on and thrive.  One of my most treasured memories was viewing these birds with my dad, whom I miss so terribly much, every single day. Seeing them made me think of the moment I saw them with him. It uplifted my very sad spirit as I approach the first Father’s Day without him.  Male Sharp-tailed Grouse dancing - a special moment with my dad  These photos were taken from a blind to pre


I was honoured to be featured in The Wild Bird Trust of BC's Spring/Summer 2023 issue of their magazine "Wingspan." The article deals with The National Audubon Society's recent decision to retain their name and barriers BIPOC people face right here in BC's very own birding community. You can see a digital issue of the feature below it is now in print and is available for download in full at their website . Thank you to the Wild Bird Trust for not shying away from these important issues and having the courage to acknowledge and talk about them. Thank you to talented young birder program graduate Ian Harland for taking my photo!