BCFO Young Birder Awards 2015

BCFO proudly presents this year’s recipients of the recently established BCFO Young Birder Award. The program, started in 2014, welcomes talented young birders into the BC birding community and recognizes their accomplishments, contributions to, and engagement with birds and birding in the province.

To be selected for a BC Young Birder Award, recipients must be 16 or under and have:

  • exceptional observational and birding skills well beyond the ’novice’ level
  • shown substantive engagement in the activities of the birding community through their accomplishments, participation, and contributions
  • been nominated and sponsored by a BCFO member and approved by the Executive Committee.

This year we are pleased to have four outstandingly worthy recipients, including our first young women, the first siblings, and the first from Vancouver Island. Interestingly, three of the recipients participated in last year’s Baillie Birdathon at Penticton’s Meadowlark Festival as members of the ‘Western Teenagers’ team, organized by Russ Cannings. All of them submit sighting records to eBird.

Here are our 2015 recipients, presented in alphabetical order:

Joshua Brown, North Vancouver, age 14, nominated by Russell Cannings.

Josh has been birding with his family for quite a few years, and has recently upped his game to an impressive level. He takes excellent bird photos, posts to birding lists, and submits copious records to eBird. Last May he was part of the ‘Western Teenagers’ team at the Penticton Meadowlark Festival. In August he joined up with two of last year’s Young Birder recipients Liron Gertsman and Logan Lalonde <2014 Young Birders> for a Vancouver Big Day when they found a real rarity, a Reeve at Reifel Refuge.

Joshua Brown

Joshua Brown


Isaac Nelson, Kamloops, age 14, nominated by Rick Howie.

Isaac is a very skilled and active birder in the Kamloops area and has also birded around the Lower Fraser Valley. He participates in virtually every kind of local bird survey – Christmas Bird Counts, Swan & Eagle Counts, Feederwatch – you name it – he does it.  He participated as a member of the ‘Western Teenagers’ at the Penticton Meadowlark Festival. He contributes frequently to on-line birding forums, with over 400 postings to one particular list, often offering help with ID’s and hints for bird-finding. He has submitted well over 300 entries to eBird.


Isaac Nelson


Emma Reader-Lee, Victoria, age 15, nominated by Ann Nightingale.

Emma has been attracted to birds ever since she could walk and talk. She is particularly fascinated by bird behaviour, and is considering a career in ornithology. She participates in numerous bird-related activities, including volunteering at the Rocky Point Bird Observatory, Christmas Bird Counts, Baillie Birdathon, and contributing to eBird. As evident in the photo, photography is yet another part of her credentials.

Emma Reader-Lee

Emma Reader-Lee


Rebecca Reader-Lee, Victoria, age 12, nominated by Ann Nightingale.

Despite her relative youth, Rebecca has already established herself as an exceptionally skilled and keen-eyed observer. She is very actively involved with the Rocky Point Bird Observatory, Christmas Bird Counts, bird photography and sketching, and eBird submissions.  She was a member of the ‘Western Teenagers’ team of youthful birders at Penticton’s Meadowlark Festival last May.

Rebecca Reader-Lee

Rebecca Reader-Lee


We think you will agree that this is a most impressive lineup! Each recipient receives complimentary membership in BCFO until age 16, and a formal plaque in recognition of their achievement.

Congratulations and a hearty “Welcome to the flock!” to Josh, Isaac, Emma and Rebecca. We hope and expect to be hearing more of and from you in the future.

<2014 Young Birders>

Registrations for Oliver AGM continue

Registration is still fully open for our Oliver AGM, and for the Pre-conference Two-Day Field Trip to the Kelowna area.

It is only registration for the Extension Trip to Eastern Washington that is now closed. The trip is fully subscribed. However, all registrations received subsequently will be placed on a wait list in order of receipt. We may receive cancellations, in which case we will fill the spaces from the wait list.

Registration forms are located above under Events > Annual Conference.

Here’s a note of the important dates for the AGM:

May 14: Sign up deadline for Kelowna/Okanagan Mountain pre-conference 2-Day Field Trip taking place May 28, 29

May 21: Registration deadline for Oliver AGM

May 29 – 31: Oliver AGM

May 31 – Jun 3: Extension Trip, Eastern Washington


Post-Conference Trip to Washington State Full

We have received a completely unexpected deluge of registrations for the Washington State extension trip, and the trip is now full.

We hope there are not too many disappointed members.

Important Correction

Please check that your application forms and waiver for the Oliver AGM are mailed to our new mailing address:

BC Field Ornithologists
P.O. Box 45111 Dunbar
Vancouver, B.C.
V6S 2M8

For a few hours yesterday the registration form for download showed our old address. The form was corrected yesterday. Canada Post is supposed to forward mail sent to our old Westside address, but we would rather be safe and have it mailed to the correct one.


South Okanagan (Oliver) AGM Registration Open

We’re ready to go with this year’s AGM.

You’ll find the various registration forms and conference details in ‘Annual Conference’ under the Events tab drop-down menu above.

All you need to do is download the forms, fill them in, sign the waiver and mail them to us along with your cheque.


See you in Oliver.

Bird Records Committee – February 2015 Accepted Records

The latest set (Round 6) of accepted records of the BCFO Bird Records Committee is now posted in BRC Public under the BRC drop-down menu above.

A full report of all the committee’s Round 6 deliberations will be published in an upcoming issue of BCFO’s journal, British Columbia Birds.

Also note that the recently published BCFO Rare Bird Report Form and the Provincial Review List are also under the same drop-down menu. Submissions of rare bird sightings in British Columbia are invited and encouraged.


Photo: Craig Sandvig




British Columbia Birds – In Press article

The following In press paper from British Columbia Birds is now available on the BCFO Member’s area of the web site:

Chutter, C. Breeding range expansion of the Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca) in British Columbia.

BCFO Bird Records Committee Vacancy

Membership Vacancy – BCFO Bird Records Committee

Needed – One (1) individual to serve as a participatory member of the Bird Records Committee (BRC).

Duration – We are seeking an individual who is willing to commit to a three-year term, beginning March 1, 2015. As per BRC operating guidelines, up to two consecutive terms may be served, for a total of six years. Renewal for a second term is optional and subject to BRC approval. Members may not sit for more than two-consecutive terms before taking a mandatory one-year absence. Following this absence, individuals may be re-nominated for additional terms, and placed in the candidate pool for available positions. Monthly time-commitments vary, but candidates should be willing to put in ten (non-consecutive) hours.

Qualifications – Candidates should be knowledgeable on bird identification and distribution of all bird species in the province, as well as familiar with the identification and distribution of avian taxa from the remainder of North America including Mexico, and East Asia. Preferred candidates will have first-hand experience with the majority of species that may be reported (see the current Review List). In addition to field experience, candidates should have access to sufficient resources (e.g., books, web resources) to provide critical, independent commentary and evaluations of bird records by set deadlines. Knowledge of aging and sexing of birds is a plus.

Candidates must be courteous and respectful of fellow committee members and to individuals whose records are being reviewed, including confidentiality of observer names and committee discourse. Previous experience with committees is beneficial, but not mandatory; however, candidates must be able to work effectively in a committee operating on a consensus framework.

In addition to birding experience, candidates must be able to reliably communicate electronically. This includes frequent and reliable access to the internet and the ability to email, Skype, and send/receive files in MS Word and MS Excel formats.

Prior membership to BCFO is not a requirement, but non-members are expected to join the organization. All BRC members are expected to maintain their membership to BCFO in good standing for the duration of their tenure. Candidates should reside in British Columbia for the majority of each calendar year for which they are serving.

The committee strives to maintain representation of the entire provincial birding community by selecting members from varied regions of the province. While all candidates will be considered for the current position, preference will be given to birders from areas outside of the south coast (Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland). To further ensure that the committee is representative of the provincial birding community, women are strongly encouraged to apply.

How to apply: You may nominate yourself or someone else who you believe is qualified. All nominations should be sent electronically to Nathan Hentze, Chairperson of the BRC, at nathan.hentze@gmail.com. In the email include a brief description of your qualifications, or, if nominating someone else, highlight why you think that person would fit well on the committee. Make sure to include your full name and contact information (email address and/or phone number), or the full name and contact information of the nominee. All information should appear in the body of the email; formal cover letters, CVs, etc., are not required.

Please apply as soon as possible, and preferably by February 25. The position will remain open until filled.

To download a larger pdf version of the document above, click here.




2015 Annual Conference and Extension

Under the Events tab above we’ve posted the latest summary information regarding the AGM and Extension trip. Dick Cannings will be our banquet speaker, and the cost this year will be $170.00 for the full conference, which includes field trips, meals and technical sessions.

Full details of field trips, Saturday afternoon speakers, and registration forms will be published here in March and in the March issue of BC Birding.

Bird Records Committee – January 2015 Accepted Records

The latest set of accepted records of the BCFO Bird Records Committee is now posted in BRC Public under the BRC drop-down menu above.

A full report of all the committee’s Round 5 deliberations will be published in an upcoming issue of BCFO’s journal, British Columbia Birds.

Also note that the recently published BCFO Rare Bird Report Form and the Provincial Review List are also under the same drop-down menu. Submissions of rare bird sightings in British Columbia are invited and encouraged.


Photo: Gary Davidson