Invitation to Apply to Bird Records Committee

– INVITATION TO APPLY –

Needed – One individual to serve as participating member of the Bird Records Committee (BRC). (see info about the BRC here: https://bcfo.ca/brc-general-information/ )

Duration – We are seeking one individual willing to commit to a three-year term, beginning September 2024. 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 approximately 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, and ideally also Eurasia and Mexico. 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 discussions. Previous experience with committees is beneficial, but not mandatory; however, candidates must be able to work effectively in a committee operating under 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/Zoom, 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 upon appointment to the committee. 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.

Selection – The committee strives to maintain representation of the entire provincial birding community by selecting members from varied regions of the province and of varied backgrounds. To ensure that the committee is inclusive of the diversity within the provincial birding community, people of the BIPOC or LGBTQ2S+ community are strongly encouraged to apply.

The BRC is a committee of the BCFO. Applicants, or a shortlist of applicants, will be discussed by the current BRC membership for nomination to the committee. Final appointments are confirmed by the BCFO Board of Directors.

How to apply – You may nominate yourself or someone else who you believe is qualified. All nominations should be sent electronically to Joachim Bertrands, Chair of the BRC, at bcbrc.chair@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. The deadline for applications has been extended to 10 June 2024. The positions will remain open until filled.

Joachim Bertrands (he/him)

BC BRC – Chair

Ecologist – Tour guide

+1 (0) 778 997 0442

3268 Haida Dr, Victoria

BC V9C 

BCFO Young Birder Awards 2024

Once again BCFO is delighted to present this year’s Young Birder Award recipients. The BCFO Young Birder Award welcomes talented young birders into the BC birding community providing them with recognition, opportunity, encouragement, and mentoring.

The Young Birder Awards are presented to youth who meet certain qualifications. To be selected for a BCFO Young Birder Award, recipients must be between 11 and 18 years of age, 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 Board of Directors.

2024 is the eleventh year of the BCFO Awards Program as we continue to find many young, keen, committed birders from around BC.

Each recipient will receive a free online membership to BCFO until age 19, a plaque, and a BCFO ball cap. Additional benefits may also be provided when arranged.

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Congratulations to Adam Ross and Seth Benoit, the 2024 BCFO Young Birder Award recipients. They join the ranks of a very talented and growing group of British Columbia young birders.

Seth Benoit    

Nominator:  Gary Davidson 

In his nomination, Gary says:

Seth Benoit is a 15-year-old birder living on a remote property in the Monashee Mountains north of Christian Valley in the Kootenay Boundary region. His passion for birding was apparently instilled in him by his grandmother, who claims he was saying ‘woodpecker’ before he could talk! He maintains a daily log of all the birds he sees and regularly submits to eBird. He is far more than a ‘lister’. He studies books on bird behaviour, learns their habitats, their range and is working hard on learning bird songs. He generally birds alone, leaving the house before the family is up. A year ago, he got his first camera and has quickly become quite adept at capturing images of the birds he sees. His grandparents live in the USA so he has had a chance to do a little travelling; having birded in California, Arizona and Texas. He particularly loved the pelagic trip he took from San Diego when he was just 10 years old.

Seth is largely self taught and has made huge strides in his knowledge and identification skills in the last couple of years. According to his father, he has begun putting together a bird guide to the birds of the Kootenay Boundary region where he lives. His guide includes sections on habitat, behaviour, feeding, species descriptions and similar species. He plans to include many of his own photographs. I believe he is a very worthy candidate for a Young Birder Award.

Adam Ross    

Nominator:  Ann Nightingale

In her nomination, Ann says:

Adam is 15 years old and first came to our birding community several years ago when he ran into a Christmas Bird Count team near Panama Flats. He was very enthusiastic and his parents were very supportive, but not birders themselves. It wasn’t long before Adam was participating in bird walks, showing up at rare bird stakeouts, birding with others, and building his eBird list. The following summer, he joined as a volunteer with Rocky Point Bird Observatory and started studying birds up close and personal. The RPBO banding crew have spent a lot of time with him, nurturing his much-improved birding skills and introducing him to bird banding. He has now banded more than two hundred birds and could become a licensed bander in a few years when his age catches up to his skill level. During this time, he has also started giving public education presentations in the community, sharing his love of birds with others. Adam has visited and volunteered at Tatlayoko Lake Bird Observatory for the past two summers as well. While he is keen in being a better birder himself, he is giving back by contributing to both citizen science and public education. He’s also continued doing Christmas Bird Counts since that first chance encounter. I think he’s very deserving of a BCFO Young Birder award.

BC Sites Needed for Barn Swallow Research

Barn Swallow: photo by John Reynolds

Gina Calabrese, Postdoctoral Researcher, is part of a team of biologists at University of Colorado, working on a project studying migration and genetic diversity in Barn Swallows, to better understand their evolution and conservation. The team will be sampling BARS in BC in late May/early June, and are looking for sites between Vancouver and Calgary (Hwy 99 /Transcanada 1), where Barn Swallows regularly nest, and are hoping that BCFO members have information that could help.

Ideally they are looking for barns/sites where swallows are known to build nests, and where the property owner is known so that they could ask permission to sample. If BCFO members have Barn Swallows nesting on their land, or have tips about nesting sites, they would love to hear from you about possible sampling.

Contact: Gina.Calabrese@colorado.edu
Gina Calabrese, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Colorado

Manning Park 2 Day Field Trip for BCFO Members

Scott Denkers, BCFO Member and former coordinator of the annual Manning Park Bird Blitz, will be leading a two-day field trip for BCFO members in Manning Provincial Park on July 2nd and 3rd, 2024.

More details here: https://bcfo.ca/two-day-field-trips-schedule/

The field trip will involve some hiking. The trip is free for BCFO members. There is a maximum of 10 participants. Registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Boreal Chickadee: photo by Paul Foth

To register, email Paul Foth at gopishingbc AT gmail DOT com