About geocbcfo

BCFO members are dedicated to "Birding with a Purpose." Keen birders and dedicated ornithologists formed BCFO in 1991 to advance the study enjoyment of wild birds in British Columbia.

BCFO Bird Records Committee Vacancies

 – Invitation to Apply –

Needed – Two (2) individuals to serve as participating members of the Bird Records Committee (BRC).

Duration – We are seeking two individuals willing to commit to a three-year term, beginning March 2022. 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, women, Indigenous Peoples, Black and people of colour, persons with disabilities, persons of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity or expression (LGBTQ2S+), and others 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 Catherine Craig, 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 4 April 2022. The positions will remain open until filled.

BCFO Annual Conference – Smithers 2022

After two years of Covid delays we are delighted to confirm that Smithers will be the destination for our Annual Conference and AGM. Mark your calendars for 24 – 26 June 2022.

Detailed information on the conference, including field trip descriptions and special conference hotel rate, can be found here. or under the Events drop-down tab above. Registration opens early March. Further information on registration and payments will be posted when available. Additional field trips will also be added.

Smithers. Photo courtesy Remax

BCFO Young Birder Awards 2022

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.

2022 is the eighth year of the BCFO Awards Program as we continue to find many young, keen, committed birders from around BC. Each recipient receives a free membership to BCFO until age 18, a memorial plaque, and a stylish BCFO ball cap.

Congratulations go to James Park who joins the ranks of a very talented and growing group of British Columbia young birders.


In nominating James, Carlo Giovanella says:

James Park is from Korea, and has been birding around the Lower Mainland for about two years.  When I first met him, at age 13, he told me he came there specifically because he “wanted to be an ornithologist”.  To that end his mother has brought him here so he can get Canadian schooling.  Since arriving he has become known to most of the birding community, as he shows up at all ‘rare’ sightings.

In the field, James is exceptionally motivated and focused.  He approaches bird-finding with skills that are well advanced for his age, and he can identify most birds  immediately by sight and by sound.  He understands when IDs are difficult, and carefully tries to work them out, freely asking and accepting help from others.   James usually birds alone, and submits many reports to eBird, (97 lists, 232 species in 2021) which demonstrates that he finds lots of ‘good’ birds.

I am taking the role of his sponsor/nominator because he generally birds alone, and does not have an on-going relationship with any other BCFO member.  I  have met and interacted with him in the field on three occasions, and each time was impressed by his relative-to-age skills, and the rapid progress he is making.  There is no doubt that this young lad has birding skills well beyond what we would consider a threshold for our Award.

From IBAs to KBAs: Understanding B.C.’s Important Bird Areas and what’s next for their Protection and Global Recognition

Reminder for BCFO members – the next in our very popular series of presentations by members for members takes place this coming Wednesday, 16 February. For a change of focus this time, we’ll be looking at BC’s Important Bird Areas program as it transitions to the Key Biodiversity Areas program.

Liam Ragan, the current Provincial Coordinator for Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas in B.C. is our presenter.

More details on the Zoom series are linked below.
For overview of series: <https://bcfo.ca/zoom-presentations-schedule/>
For event details and descriptions: <https://bcfo.ca/upcoming-zoom-presentations-topics-dates-presenters-details/>

Also, coming soon to your email inbox is the invitation and link to register for the IBA/KBA presentation. Look out for it!

Photo: Liam Ragan

Long-billed Curlew Provincial Survey 2022

The updated COSEWIC Status Report being prepared by Birds Canada requires current, province-wide population information for Long-billed Curlew.

BCFO members are invited to participate in this important, volunteer, roadside survey this spring.

  • Why: We need to know how these listed birds are doing to determine and update their conservation status. A province-wide population estimate hasn’t been made since 2005!
  • How: Single-day roadside surveys conducted along ca. 30-km transects within known grassland and croplands.
  • When: Between April 23-May 8, with dates progressing from south to north.
  • Where: Okanagan-Similkameen, Thompson-Nicola, Cariboo-Chilcotin, Prince George-Nechako, and East Kootenay regions.
  • Who: Teams of 2-3 people who can identify curlews by sound and sight. Training will be provided virtually in March for all participants.


Learn more about Long-billed Curlews in BC

Michael Force, Featured Photographer #23  

Photo: Michael Force

BFCO is pleased to introduce Michael Force as the 23rd presenter in our esteemed ‘Featured Photographer Series’.  Micheal is a life-time birder, long-time member of the BCFO, and stalwart of the BC Bird Records Committee.  Perhaps best known for his world-wide seabird expertise, you will see here that he is also quite handy with a camera on land.

Enjoy Michael’s work here.

Namibia with Tom Plath – Wednesday, 19th January

Reminder for BCFO members – the next in our very popular series of birding travel presentations takes place this coming Wednesday.

More details on the Zoom series are linked below.
For overview of series: <https://bcfo.ca/zoom-presentations-schedule/>
For event details and descriptions: <https://bcfo.ca/upcoming-zoom-presentations-topics-dates-presenters-details/>

Also, coming soon to your email inbox is the invitation and link to register for the Namibia presentation. Look out for it!

Photo: Tom Plath

Latest Accepted Records from the Bird Records Committee published

Discussion of Round 30 submissions to the Bird Records Committee has just been completed. Consensus decisions to “accept” were made for eight of the ten submissions for this round. Notable in this round is the first Canadian record for the species pictured below.

Photo: Michael Force

To see the full report of those recently accepted records, follow the link here or use the drop down menu above – BRC Public > BRC Round 30 Jan. to Nov. 2021

June Ryder and Michael Church – valued volunteers

Putting together the quarterly newsmagazine is a complicated and time-consuming job. Editors and authors get recognition in the newsmagazine, but some of the behind-the-scenes volunteers do not. June Ryder and Michael Church are two of these people.

Four times a year, these two dedicated volunteers take on the responsibility of ensuring that newsmagazines are mailed to members. First the printed copies are collected from the printers on West Broadway; then they are put into individual envelopes before being taken to the post office for mailing to members.

In 2011, June handled both the editor’s duties and the distribution. In 2015 when Clive Keen assumed the role of editor, June graciously agreed to continue with the distribution. Michael has been assisting with these duties. In addition, Michael is a regular contributor to the newsmagazine with his column, ‘Briefings’. After 10 years of service to the BCFO, June is moving on and is relinquishing the duties of newsmagazine distribution.

The BCFO Board of Directors wishes to offer our heartfelt thanks to June and Michael for their generous commitment of time to our organization. We wish them well!