Bye Bye Blackbird

The Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus) is considered a "vulnerable" species by the whole world, but in Canada it is treated as a pest. Everyone has heard of the Red-winged Blackbird, and many are familiar with the Brewer’s Blackbird, but how many have seen or even heard of a Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus)? Not very many I would wager. It’s not …

5th Annual Campbell River Bald Eagle Festival

Harrison always pleases the kids when he flies in for Eaglefest Plans are underway for the 5th Campbell River Bald Eagle Festival, sponsored by BC Hydro, to be held by Discovery Pier at the Maritime Heritage Centre in Campbell River on Saturday Feb. 20/2010. Guest speakers include well known author, conservationist and ornithologist Dr. Rob Butler, President of the Pacific …

Backyard Birds – January 4-10

The action at the feeders this week has been interesting. I’ve noticed a significant increase in the number of Pine Siskins visiting the feeders (at one point we had over 80 Siskins at the feeder, on the ground beneath the feeder, and in the trees around our patio). American Goldfinch continue to show up in good numbers with around 15 …

Backyard Birds – December 28 – January 3

Some new additions to the regulars at the feeders this week. Late last week we had a few Pine Siskins and a couple of American Goldfinches at the feeders. I added a tube feeder with black oil sunflower seeds and some niger seeds and that brought in the finches. We’ve had over 40 Pine Siskins and close to a dozen …

Backyard Birds – December 21 – 27

Pine Siskins (Spinus pinus) feeding on seed scattered on the ground. I cleaned up a lichen covered limb of our lilac tree this week and instead of putting the branches into the city’s yard waste program left them as a brush pile in our garden area. The sparrows seem to like the extra habitat and I’m hoping that it will …

Birding at Buttertubs

Open water at Buttertubs Marsh from the vantage point of a viewing tower. No ducks here! Yesterday I headed down to Nanaimo to pick up my brother-in-law at the ferry and planned the day to include a little morning birding at Buttertubs Marsh. Buttertubs is accessible in a couple of places but I find that the easiest access point is …

Comox Christmas Bird Count 2009

It’s all over but the owling and I don’t think many of the birders who braved the cold wet day today are up to spending another couple of hours out listing for owls. As I mentioned in my pre-count post, I was the team leader for Area 11 which encompasses a large area of older suburbs, farm fields, second growth …

2009 Comox CBC – Pre-count Scouting

I’m leading a group of birders in Area 11 on the Comox Christmas Bird Count (CBC) this year and headed out today to do a pre-count reconnaissance of the area. The last time I birded this territory was back in 2004 with my wife and my mother-in-law. I knew that it had a variety of good birding habitat so when …

Bewick’s Wrens at the Feeder

Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii) at the suet feeder. With the snowfall last night our feeders have been busy. I actually had to move one of the seed feeders because the branch of the lilac tree that it was on collapsed under the weight of the heavy, wet snow. This large branch is now very popular as a perching area for …