BC Birding – December 2015 edition

BC Birding Cover Dec 2015

The December edition of BC Birding welcomes our new editor, Clive Keen.

Following in the footsteps of our recently retired editor, June Ryder, you’ll find Clive has maintained the same high standards for our newsmagazine. Thank you, June for your tremendous service to BCFO. Congratulations Clive, on a great first edition.

Between the covers you’ll find a call for your listing reports, the announcement of next year’s Two-day Field Trips for Members, plus trip reports from visits to the Sooke Hawkwatch, a week in the Chilcotin, and some Costa Rica birding. The usual collection of fascinating articles on various avian topics ranging from summaries from the ornithological literature to observations at backyard feeders are there for your enjoyment under the Members tab above.

BCFO Featured Photographer #12 – Bruce Whittington

BCFO proudly presents yet another Featured Photographer, #12 in our series, and the very first who hails from an island in the Pacific.  View the work of long-time BCFO member Bruce Whittington here, or navigate via the Features tab above.

The ‘Featured Photographer Series’ presents the work of BCFO members who photograph wild birds in BC.

Christmas Bird Counts 2015/2016

Preparations for this season’s Christmas Bird Counts are underway. You’ll find the dates we know so far under the CBC’s tab above. We’ll update continually as we receive more details of the various counts.

In addition, Christmas Bird Counts for Kids is a growing activity around the province, and they are ready to go in many locations. We’ve given them their own tab under CBC’s.


CBC4Kids is a fun, family-friendly birdwatching event that promotes nature appreciation and environmental stewardship.

Celebrate birds with youth and their families while building bird identification skills and contributing to important Citizen Science for bird conservation!

Details of CBC4Kids locations are found here and by clicking the CBC4Kids logo above.


The Origin and Diversification of Birds

Some BCFO members may find this Open Access Review of interest. Here’s the summary:

Birds are one of the most recognizable and diverse groups of modern vertebrates. Over the past two decades, a wealth of new fossil discoveries and phylogenetic and macroevolutionary studies has transformed our understanding of how birds originated and became so successful. Birds evolved from theropod dinosaurs during the Jurassic (around 165–150 million years ago) and their classic small, lightweight, feathered, and winged body plan was pieced together gradually over tens of millions of years of evolution rather than in one burst of innovation. Early birds diversified throughout the Jurassic and Cretaceous, becoming capable fliers with supercharged growth rates, but were decimated at the end-Cretaceous extinction alongside their close dinosaurian relatives. After the mass extinction, modern birds (members of the avian crown group) explosively diversified, culminating in more than 10,000 species distributed worldwide today.

A PDF of The Origin and Diversification of Birds can be found here: http://is.gd/FtPGWD

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:

Holroyd, G.L. and J. Cam Finlay. 2016. Daily consumption of nectar by Rufous Hummingbirds at a feeder in Victoria, British Columbia.

BC Birding – September 2015 edition


Another very full edition of our newsmagazine BC Birding is now available for download or reading on-line in the members area above.

This September edition features articles about our Oliver/South Okanagan AGM and the Eastern Washington extension trip, the fantastic birding adventures of our Young Birders, and some BC ornithological history courtesy of Bill Merrilies. Mike Church’s summaries of fascinating findings from ornithological research continue as do Clive Keen’s The Reflective Birder pieces. A series of Memorable Avian Encounters have been contributed by Dennis Leonard, and Les Gyug has given us an account of the very successful, pre-conference, two-day trip he lead for members to the Kelowna area. There’s even more between the covers.

Vancouver Window Collision Project – volunteers needed

Bird Studies Canada is looking for Vancouver area birders and members of the public to participate in this important study to learn more about bird/building collisions in downtown Vancouver.

Collision_poster_workshop Sept 22-1

East Sooke Hawkwatch – September 26 – 27

TUVUsExpect large kettles of Turkey Vultures on this two-day trip.

Notice of this Two-Day Field Trip for Members was published back in April, but we’ve heard that a number of members may have missed or overlooked the opportunity to sign up for this exciting trip.

Leader Dave Aldcroft has offered to open an additional ten places. If you’d like to join the ten hawkwatchers already booked, reserve your place with Dave at the email address below – first come, first served.

Here’s the original notice:

East Sooke Hawkwatch
September 26 – 27
Day 1 will focus on the Hawkwatch in East Sooke Park. A total of 14 species of raptors can be seen during fall migration, including Broad-winged Hawk, which is on many people’s wish lists. No guarantees, but we’ll give it a shot. Turkey Vulture kettles of up to 1000 birds are a spectacle, and good numbers of Red-tails, Cooper’s and Sharpies are also common.
Day 2 will visit Victoria area hotspots and a search for Skylarks if required. The order of the days may be reversed to offer the best opportunity from the hawkwatch site.
Leader: Dave Aldcroft
Email: dsaldcroft@shaw.ca
Tel: 250 743 3487

How the Trips Work
BCFO two-day field trips are member-led, but participants make their own arrangements for accommodation, food, and travel.
Day 1: am birding; pm birding, evening get together (see below).
Day 2: am birding, pm optional birding.
Carpooling is encouraged, and for the 2 days’ birding will be arranged on the morning of Day 1.
Register in advance
Important: Register at least two weeks in advance. Email or phone the trip leader with names and numbers of participants. The leader will give specific details of when and where to meet.
If needed, additional leaders may be recruited to keep group sizes small.
Cost per two-day event
Members:     $10.00 per person
Non-members:    $40.00* incl. BCFO membership. BCFO general memberships are family memberships.

Priority booking will be given to members. Should the trip fill up, non-members will be placed on a waitlist.

The Social Side
At the end of Day 1, where possible, leaders will make arrangements for participants to meet for dinner at a nearby restaurant to recap the day, tally species seen, and confirm arrangements for Day 2.

British Columbia Birds – In Press article

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

Sealy, S.G. 2016. The Reverend John H. Keen’s observations of birds and unpublished list from the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii), British Columbia, 1890–1899.

Sealy, S.G. 2016. Significance of the bird specimens collected by the Reverend John H. Keen on the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii) and at Metlakatla, British Columbia, 1890–1914.

Announcing BCFO 2016 AGM – Cranbrook

Next year we’ll be heading to the East Kootenay and the City of Cranbrook – May 27th, 28th, 29th, 2016. Mark your calendars!

Located in the Rocky Mountain Trench, Cranbrook sits between the Rockies to the east, and the Purcell Mountains to the west. With the Kootenay River flowing in the valley bottom, the huge diversity of habitats here offers a fabulous variety of birds. Extensive wetlands, grasslands and open forests, along with mountain habitats at various elevations will ensure memorable birding in the East Kootenay.


Canal Flats wetlands, north of Cranbrook.
Photo: PictureBC, BC Gov Photos

The Rocky Mountain Naturalists are our partners in Cranbrook and have the detailed local knowledge needed to make the venue a birding success. We’re already working with them to plan a full roster of AGM field trips you will not want to miss.

We’re also doing prep work on our pre-conference 2-day field trip – likely the Creston Valley, and the post-conference extension targeting Southern Alberta. Stay tuned!

For preliminary information about the location of the AGM and accommodations, check the Events tab above or the link here.