Bird Records Committee – February 2016 Accepted Records Round 11

Round 11 accepted records of the BCFO Bird Records Committee are now posted in BRC Public above, or linked here.

Of note is that this round consisted entirely of records of rare hummingbirds in the province, and included a review the 1997 Xantus’s Hummingbird record from Gibsons.

20150115_125244_HDR (LSU specimens)

Among many materials used by the Bird Records Committee to make their decisions on Round 11 were these specimens of Green Violetears (right) and Sparkling Violetears (left) from Louisianna State University. Photo: James van Remsen Jr.

A full report of all the committee’s Round 11 deliberations will be published in an upcoming issue of BCFO’s journal, British Columbia Birds.

You will also find the BCFO Rare Bird Report Form and the Provincial Review List under the same drop-down menu. Submissions of rare bird sightings in British Columbia are invited and encouraged.

British Columbia Birds–In Press

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

Sealy,  S.G.  2017. A  summary  of  landbird  banding  near Tlell,  Haida  Gwaii,  British  Columbia,  autumn  1997.


BC Birding – June 2016


The latest issue of BC Birding, our news magazine, is now available in the Members Area.

As usual you’ll find this latest issue stuffed full of interesting articles and information: the Young Birders Program, the next sets of Avian Encounters and ornithological Briefings, plus a feature on avoiding bird collisions with buildings, and our continuing The Reflective Birder series.

Cranbrook 2016 – Top Notch Annual Conference

Birders – Lone Butte, Marysville

Birding the Rocky Mountain Trench

The BCFO 25th anniversary AGM and Conference, held at the Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort in Cranbrook, was a great milestone in the society’s history, and attendees enjoyed fabulous birding before, during, and after the conference.

With over 80 delegates attending, birders met up with old friends, enjoyed good food, good presentations, good company and of course, good birds. Front page news in the local paper, The Townsman, BCFO’s first visit to Cranbrook was a resounding success due in no small part to the expert help of our local partners the Rocky Mountain Naturalists.

Following 5:15 am breakfasts on Saturday and Sunday, attendees enjoyed field trips to Ha-Ha Creek, Skookumchuck Prairie IBA, Spray Irrigation – Three Ponds, Wycliffe, including Lone Butte, and Elizabeth Lake. Many thanks go to local guides Alan Barnard, Dianne Cooper, Ruth Goodwin, Dean Nicholson, Greg Ross, and Daryl Calder.

The Saturday afternoon technical session, prior to the Annual General Meeting proper, featured Dr.David Bradley giving a comprehensive overview of the newly completed BC Breeding Bird Atlas. Our banquet keynote speaker was Jared Hobbs, who delivered an informative and passionate presentation about the plight of both Western Screech-Owls, and Spotted Owls in BC.

Chris Siddle was this year’s worthy recipient of the Steve Canning’s Award who, in his acceptance speech, graciously credited numerous BC birders who have helped and inspired him.

Mike McGrenere has assumed the role of BCFO President. Marian Porter and Monica Nugent are the new additions to the board. Congratulations all! George Clulow will be sticking around as Past President, and working with the board on a number of key projects. To view the full Board of BCFO and members’ various responsibilities, follow the link here.

Eastern Kingbird, Kinbrook Island PP

Eastern Kingbird

As mentioned above, birding trips were a major component of the AGM. A full slate of trips was offered before and after the Cranbrook meeting.

May 26-27 – Two-day Trip, Creston Valley
Gary Davidson of Nakusp, and Paul Prappas of Nelson, with key help from Craig Sandvig of Castlegar led a very pleasant two-day trip around the Creston Valley accompanied by a huge turnout of 28 BCFO members. Among many highlights were Forster’s Terns, and a Wild Turkey with at least seven immature turkeys following along. A Tennessee Warbler, which only occurs in that part of the Kootenays approximately every four or five years, was also seen well.

Forster's Terns, Duck Lake

Forster’s Terns – Duck Lake, Creston

Extension Trips, Birding the Prairie Potholes – May 24th – 27th and May 29th – June 1st
Dan Arndt of Bow Valley Birding & Wildlife Tours led two fantastic tours across part of Southern Alberta, with overnights in Lethbridge, Brooks, and Cochrane. Highlights were numerous but included  McCown’s Longspur, and Chestnut-collared Longspurs, 17 Lark Buntings!, some great action from Sprague’s Pipits,
Baird’s Sparrow, Ferruginous Hawks, with three nests located, Nelson’s and LeConte’s Sparrows, Yellow Rails, Burrowing Owl, Upland Sandpipers, Sedge Wrens, and a Northern Mockingbird.

Full trip write-ups will appear in the September issue of BC Birding.

Western Kingbird Dinosaur PP

Western Kingbird

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:

Gyug, L.W. and J.T. Weir. 2017. American Avocet and Black­-necked Stilt breeding status and population trends at Kelowna, British Columbia, 1997­–2015.

Gyug, L.W. and J.T. Weir. 2017. American Avocet breeding habitat, behaviour and use of nesting platforms at Kelowna, British Columbia.


BC Breeding Bird Atlas published online

The British Columbia Breeding Bird Atlas is now complete, and freely available online for everyone. It’s a stunning document visually and impressively detailed in its coverage of BC’s 320 breeding birds. This landmark publication is the first of its kind in Canada to be published online, and it’s thought to be the most comprehensive web resource of its type in the world. User-friendly features make it accessible to environmental professionals, students, educators, and members of the public.

The Atlas is the result of one of the largest citizen science initiatives the province has ever seen:  1,300 British Columbians, including many BCFO members, contributed 60,000 hours of dedicated volunteerism over the eight years of the project.  The public-private initiative was supported by 140 partners, donors and special contributors.

This milestone is particularly rewarding for BCFO members as we have been supporters of this major project since its inception. Congratulations to all involved.

A sample species account is copied below, but there is so much more available at the Atlas website.

Atlas VATH account-1

Atlas VATH account 2-2

Bird Records Committee – February 2016 Accepted Records Round 12, & additions to Round 10

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.

Round 12 accepted records and additional accepted Round 10 records are included in this set. Round 11 records are still in preparation for publication.

You will also find the BCFO Rare Bird Report Form and the Provincial Review List under the same drop-down menu or link here. Submissions of rare bird sightings in British Columbia are invited and encouraged.

SIAC_Ng1 copy

Photo: Raymond Ng



2016 Vancouver Bird Week


Vancouver’s annual Bird Week celebration kicks into high gear from May 7th to May 14th.

This year’s theme Gardening for Birds, and the selection of the Peregrine Falcon as the 2016 Vancouver City Bird holds out the promise of a fantastic week of bird-related art workshops, walks, talks, exhibitions, and lectures. All events are free.

Check out the activities at: <>


Preventing Bird/Window Collisions

We all prefer to see this:

VATH in Aronia

Varied Thrush in Aronia bush

Not this:

VATH window strike

Varied Thrush killed by a window-strike

BCFO Member and past BCFO Director June Ryder is getting a campaign off the ground to raise public awareness of the importance of reducing the numbers birds that collide with windows. BCFO supports this campaign and urges all members and others to download the Birds Against Buildings flyer compiled by June and shown below. Please share this important information with friends, neighbours, and organizations to which you belong. Make your own home more bird friendly, and encourage others to do the same whether houses, apartments, or places of work.

Birds Against Bldgs VER5-1

Birds Against Bldgs VER5 2-2 Download Birds Against Buildings .

2016 Okanagan Big Day Birdathon

This year’s Okanagan Big Day Birdathon offers opportunities for every level of birding interest and skill. Whether it’s a full-on, non-motorized Big Day, or a relaxing Big Sit, or something in between for the new birder, the choice is yours.

The Okanagan Valley in spring is a birding Mecca, and you can join in the fun as part of a fundraiser for the Vaseux Lake Bird Observatory (VLBO).

This year’s event will also see a reprise appearance of BCFO’s Young Birders’ Western Teenagers Big Day team. Competition will be intense and of course, fun!

For more details see the poster below and visit the VLBO website.

Birdathon Poster-1