Avian Flu Outbreak

Avian Flu Outbreak

There has been a lot of concern surrounding the recent avian flu outbreak with people wondering if it is safe to continue feeding their backyard birds.

Click here to start or visit Bird Studies Canada and Environment & Natural Resources Canada to keep up to date.

Sunday, 15 May 2022

CANCELED SUNDAY BIRD WALK

 Looking at this mornings weather forecast of steady rain, today’s Sunday bird walk is canceled. 

The Tuesday Bird Walk will be going to the Englishman River Estuary on Plummer Road, Parksville. 

Good birding, Colin. 


Saturday, 14 May 2022

Sunday's Total Lunar Eclipse 


Sunday night (May 15), weather permitting, we have the opportunity to see a total eclipse of the Moon… well, you can see the earlier phases of it if you live in eastern Canada; in the west we’ll see less of it, and it will be lower in the sky.

A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes through the shadow of the Earth.  Earth’s shadow has two parts, really – a long conical cone of darkness where no direct sunlight reaches the Moon, and a secondary cone where some sunlight can be seen, but not from the full Sun.  Respectively these shadow zones are called the umbra and the penumbra.  Even in the umbra, some sunlight is refracted through Earth’s atmosphere, so the umbra is not totally dark.

A full moon occurs when the Moon is directly opposite the Sun in relation to the Earth, and since that is where Earth’s shadow is, lunar eclipses only occur at the time of a full moon!

As the Moon enters the penumbra (the partial shadow), it begins to fade.  The total phase will begin as Earth totally blocks the direct sunlight reaching the Moon (the umbra), at which time we can see the dark shadow of Earth begin to creep across the face of the Moon.  

The times are for BC and Eastern Daylight.  For AB/Sask, add 1 hr; for MB, 2 hrs.; and the Maritimes, 4 hrs (4:30 in Nfld) to the BC time.  

Earth’s dark shadow will touch the Moon around 7:27 p.m. Pacific Time (10:27 p.m. EDT).  Unfortunately for us in BC, the Moon doesn’t rise until 8:50 p.m., however it will be higher in the sky the further east one is, meaning more of the eclipse will be visible,.

Totality – when Earth’s shadow totally covers the Moon – begins at 8:28 in BC, so totality starts just before we can even see the Moon.  Alberta and east will have the Moon above the horizon when totality starts (11:28 EDT), but even in Alberta the Moon will just be rising.  The Moon will take on an orangish or reddish hue which is the result of the sun’s rays passing through Earth’s atmosphere, with those colours being refracted more inward into the shadow.

The deepest shadow, and therefore the deepest colour, occurs at 9:28 PDT (12:28 a.m. EDT) meaning the deepest phase will be visible all across Canada.

The Moon begins to come out of Earth’s direct shadow just before 10 p.m. PDT (1 a.m. EDT), and the last vestiges of that shadow leave the Moon just before 11 p.m. PDT (2 a.m. EDT)., after which the Moon will slowly brighten again over the next hour or so.

Make sure you dress warmly if you are going to spend much time observing the beauty of this eclipse.

Clear skies.
David




Thursday, 12 May 2022

 

The Backyard Wildbird and Nature Store

Nanaimo Bird Report

May 12, 2022

“EXPLORE NATURE” --- GO BIRDING:
To report your sightings phone the Store at 250-390-3669 or e-mail us at thebackyard@shaw.ca. Please remember, when reporting a sighting to leave your name and phone number along with the date the species was seen and location of your sighting.
*********************************************************


Yellow Warbler (J. Morrison)

Wednesday May 11, 2022

Black-headed Grosbeak has returned to the backyard feeders on Meridian Way in Parksville.

Tuesday May 10, 2022:

The Tuesday Bird Walk went to the Little Qualicum Fish Hatchery. The weather was sunny, then clouded over near the end of the walk and 10 degrees. A few of the highlights from the walk were American Dipper seen down river from the parking lot on the end of a log, along with a Spotted Sandpiper and Common Merganser. A Warbling Vireo was heard as we began down the road and Vaux Swift was seen above with the swallows. Seven species of warblers were heard and seen with good looks at Yellow Warbler, Wilson’s Warbler and MacGillivray’s Warbler.

15 birders saw and heard the following 40 species:

Canada Goose

Common Merganser

Great Blue Heron

Turkey Vulture

Bald Eagle

Red-tail Hawk

Spotted Sandpiper

Eurasian Collared Dove

Vaux Swift

Rufous Hummingbird

Belted Kingfisher

Northern Flicker

Red-breasted Sapsucker

Hammond’s Flycatcher

Pacific-slope Flycatcher

Warbling Vireo

Common Raven

Violet-green Swallow

Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Brown Creeper

Pacific Wren

American Dipper

Golden-crowned Kinglet

American Robin

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Black-throated Gray Warbler

Townsend’s Warbler

Orange-crowned Warbler

Yellow Warbler

Wilson’s Warbler

MacGillivray’s Warbler

Western Tanager

Spotted Towhee

Song Sparrow

Golden-crowned Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

Black-headed Grosbeak

Brown-headed Cowbird

Purple Finch

American Goldfinch


American Goldfinch – male/female (R. Hocken) 

Sunday May 8, 2022:

The Sunday Bird Walk went to Bowen Park. The weather was sunny with some cloud and 10 degrees. With all the trees beginning to fill in there was a lot more to hear than see but we were able to see some like a Hairy Woodpecker, Rufous Hummingbird, and Bald Eagle.

13 birders saw and heard the following 24 species:

Mallard

Bald Eagle

Glaucous-winged Gull

Rufous Hummingbird

Anna’s Hummingbird

Hairy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Common Raven

American Crow

Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Brown Creeper

Bewick’s Wren

Pacific Wren

Golden-crowned Kinglet

American Robin

European Starling

Orange-crowned Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Spotted Towhee

Song Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco

Red-winged Blackbird

Pine Siskin


White-crowned Sparrow (S. Petersen)

Avian Flu

We have received many inquires about the Avian Influenza that has been in the news of late, and what to do. So far we know it does not seem to effect songbirds and it is not know what part songbirds may or may not play in the spread. It is known to affect waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors, ravens, crows, magpies. Most reports in Canada are out east but there have been reports in Washington State.

To keep the feeders birds healthy regular weekly cleaning of your bird feeders is recommended, bird baths and areas around the feeders is always recommended. Use a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water to clean your bird feeders and bird baths. Remove old seed from under the feeders and toss in the garbage.

The Wild Bird Feeding Institute has released an announcment with what to do with avian flu and your bird feeders;

WBFI encourages any bird feeding hobbyists that have waterfowl frequenting their bird feeders, or poultry nearby, to remove feeders temporarily. The United States Department of Agriculture reports that “Removing backyard feeders is not something the USDA specifically recommends preventing avian influenza unless you also take care of poultry.”

Here is a link to another article on the Avian Flu, https://www.wbfi.org/2022/02/18/2022birdfluupdate/

Here is a link for Bird Studies Canada information, https://www.birdscanada.org/help-respond-to-the-avian-influenza-outbreak-in-atlantic-canada/

Also, with the return of the Pine Siskins to the backyard feeders it is important to clean the bird feeders and the area under the feeders more frequently, especially with the wet weather. Use a solution of 1 part bleach or industrial white vinegar to 9 parts water for the cleaning, rinse and let dry. Remove any old seed under the feeders and garbage. If possible, move the feeders a few feet every couple of weeks so there is a clean area under the bird feeders for the birds.

The Backyard Bird Walks

 

Our bird walks go out Sunday mornings in Nanaimo and Tuesday mornings in Parksville and Qualicum Beach area, are easy walks that go for two to three hours (back for lunch is the plan). Bring binoculars and a field guide. The walks are weather pending.

Please check our blog (www.thebirdstore.blogspot.com) for any cancelations.

Covid-19 Precautions

Do not attend if you feel ill.  Please respect social distancing, 2 meters or 6 feet.

The Tuesday Bird Walk, May 17, 2022

The Tuesday Bird Walk will be Going to the Plummer Road side of the Englishman River Estuary.

Meet at the Parksville Tourist Information Center parking lot, located by Hwy 19A, Northwest Bay Road and Franklin’s Gull Road in Parksville, at 9:00 am or meet at the corner of Plummer Road and Shorewood Drive in Parksville about 9:10am. Weather Cooperating.

The Sunday Bird Walk, May 15, 2022

The Sunday Bird walk will be going to Morden Colliery Park in south Nanaimo.

Meet at The Backyard Wildbird & Nature Store at 9:00am or at the end of Morden Road in the parking lot by the mine head, at 9:15 am. Weather cooperating.

 

For cancelled bird walks due to weather, please check The Backyard blog at www.thebirdstore.blogspot.com on the day of the bird walk. A notice will be up before 8:00am if there is a cancelation.

Good birding! Colin Bartlett

Wednesday, 4 May 2022

 

The Backyard Wildbird and Nature Store

Nanaimo Bird Report

May 4, 2022

“EXPLORE NATURE” --- GO BIRDING:
To report your sightings phone the Store at 250-390-3669 or e-mail us at thebackyard@shaw.ca. Please remember, when reporting a sighting to leave your name and phone number along with the date the species was seen and location of your sighting.
*********************************************************


Caspian Tern (R. Hocken)

Tuesday May 3, 2022:

The Tuesday Bird Walk went to Lot 10 in Qualicum Beach. Weather was overcast then turned to rain, 10 degrees and wind was calm. We started the bird walk meeting at the Brant viewing stand at the end of Qualicum Beach. Highlights there were 3 Whimbrel and 3 Caspian Terns. We then went to Lot 10 at the end on Kinkade Road and Waters Road where we heard a Warbling Vireo to start the walk and saw Northern Rough-winged Swallows at the river entering a nest site on the bank.

13 birders saw and heard the following 40 species:

White-winged Scoter

Surf Scoter

Common Merganser

Red-breasted Merganser

Common Loon

Red-necked Grebe

Bald Eagle

Merlin

Black Oystercatcher

Whimbrel

Black Turnstone

Bonaparte’s Gull

California Gull

Caspian Tern

Eurasian Collared Dove

Anna’s Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird

Hairy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Hammond’s Flycatcher

Pacific-slope Flycatcher

Warbling Vireo

American Crow

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Brown Creeper

Pacific Wren

American Robin

Varied Thrush

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Black-throated Gray Warbler

Townsend’s Warbler

Spotted Towhee

Song Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco

Purple Finch

American Goldfinch

Pine Siskin

Tuesday May 3, 2022:

Townsend’s Solitaire was seen in a backyard on Timberwood Drive in south Nanaimo.


Black-headed Grosbeak (J. Morrison)


Western Tanager (J. Anderson)

Black-headed Grosbeak was seen at a backyard feeder in the area of Waldbank Road and Sechelt Drive in north Nanaimo.

Sunday May 1, 2022:

Western Tanager was seen in a backyard on HoyLake Road East in Qualicum Beach.

The Sunday Bird Walk went to Maki Road Trail, located at the end of Maki Road. Weather was overcast, wind was calm and 10 degrees. Some highlights from the bird walk were a Cinnamon Teal in the Fielding Marsh that gave us great views and Yellow-rumped Warblers that were hawking right in front of us.

14 birders saw and heard the following 49 species:

Canada Goose

Wood Duck

Mallard

Cinnamon Teal

Green-winged Teal

Ring-necked Duck

Bufflehead

Common Merganser

California Quail

Great Blue Heron

Turkey Vulture

Bald Eagle

Red-tail Hawk

American Coot

Glaucous-winged Gull

Eurasian Collared Dove

Rufous Hummingbird

Anna’s Hummingbird

Belted Kingfisher

Pileated Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Pacific-slope Flycatcher

Barn Swallow

Hutton’s Vireo

Common Raven

American Crow

Steller’s Jay

Violet-green Swallow

Tree Swallow

Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Brown Creeper

Bewick’s Wren

American Robin

European Starling

Orange-crowned Warbler

Common Yellowthroat

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Spotted Towhee

Song Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow

Golden-crowned Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco

Red-winged Blackbird

Brown-headed Cowbird

House Finch

Purple Finch

American Goldfinch

Pine Siskin


Cinnamon Teal (K. Fowler)

Avian Flu

We have received many inquires about the Avian Influenza that has been in the news of late, and what to do. So far we know it does not seem to effect songbirds and it is not know what part songbirds may or may not play in the spread. It is known to affect waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors, ravens, crows, magpies. Most reports in Canada are out east but there have been reports in Washington State.

To keep the feeders birds healthy regular weekly cleaning of your bird feeders is recommended, bird baths and areas around the feeders is always recommended. Use a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water to clean your bird feeders and bird baths. Remove old seed from under the feeders and toss in the garbage.

The Wild Bird Feeding Institute has released an announcment with what to do with avian flu and your bird feeders;

WBFI encourages any bird feeding hobbyists that have waterfowl frequenting their bird feeders, or poultry nearby, to remove feeders temporarily. The United States Department of Agriculture reports that “Removing backyard feeders is not something the USDA specifically recommends preventing avian influenza unless you also take care of poultry.”

Here is a link to another article on the Avian Flu, https://www.wbfi.org/2022/02/18/2022birdfluupdate/

Here is a link for Bird Studies Canada information, https://www.birdscanada.org/help-respond-to-the-avian-influenza-outbreak-in-atlantic-canada/

Also, with the return of the Pine Siskins to the backyard feeders it is important to clean the bird feeders and the area under the feeders more frequently, especially with the wet weather. Use a solution of 1 part bleach or industrial white vinegar to 9 parts water for the cleaning, rinse and let dry. Remove any old seed under the feeders and garbage. If possible, move the feeders a few feet every couple of weeks so there is a clean area under the bird feeders for the birds.

The Backyard Bird Walks 

Our bird walks go out Sunday mornings in Nanaimo and Tuesday mornings in Parksville and Qualicum Beach area, are easy walks that go for two to three hours (back for lunch is the plan). Bring binoculars and a field guide. The walks are weather pending.

Please check our blog (www.thebirdstore.blogspot.com) for any cancelations.

Covid-19 Precautions

Do not attend if you feel ill.  Please respect social distancing, 2 meters or 6 feet.

The Tuesday Bird Walk, May 10, 2022

The Tuesday Bird Walk will be Going to Little Qualicum Fish Hatchery, located in Qualicum Beach.

Meet at the Parksville Tourist Information Center parking lot, located by Hwy 19A, Northwest Bay Road and Franklin’s Gull Road in Parksville, at 9:00 am or meet at the Little Qualicum Fish Hatchery on Claymore Road, located off Laburnum Road, Qualicum Beach about 9:15am. Weather Cooperating.

The Sunday Bird Walk, May 8, 2022

The Sunday Bird walk will be going to Bowen Park in Nanaimo.

Meet at The Backyard Wildbird & Nature Store at 9:00am or at the upper parking lot of Bowen Park, near the lawn bowling, at 9:10 am. Weather cooperating.

Good birding! Colin Bartlett

Wednesday, 27 April 2022

 

The Backyard Wildbird and Nature Store

Nanaimo Bird Report

April 27, 2022

“EXPLORE NATURE” --- GO BIRDING:

To report your sightings phone the Store at 250-390-3669 or e-mail us at thebackyard@shaw.ca. Please remember, when reporting a sighting to leave your name and phone number along with the date the species was seen and location of your sighting.
*********************************************************


Townsend’s Solitaire (C. Bartlett)

Tuesday April 26, 2022:

The Tuesday Bird Walk went to the Shelly Road side of the Englishman River Estuary. Weather started out cloudy, then on and off rain showers and ended with some sun. Winds were calm and temperature was 6 degrees. It was a great bird walk and one of the highest species counts we have had on a walk. A few highlights of the bird walk were, great views of more than one Townsend’s Solitaire, Hermit Thrush, Kestrel, and great views of many Chipping Sparrows.

15 birders saw and heard the following 71 species:

Brant

Canada Goose

Gadwall

American Wigeon

Mallard

Northern Shoveler

Green-winged Teal

Harlequin Duck

Common Merganser

Red-breasted Merganser

California Quail

Double-crested Cormorant

Pelagic Cormorant

Great Blue Heron

Turkey Vulture

Bald Eagle

Coopers Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Merlin

American Kestrel

Virginia Rail

Black-bellied Plover

Killdeer

Dunlin

Bonaparte’s Gull

Short-billed Gull

California Gull

Glaucous-winged Gull

Eurasian Collared Dove

Anna’s Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird

Belted Kingfisher

Pileated Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Red-breasted Sapsucker

Hammond’s Flycatcher

American Crow

Common Raven

Violet-green Swallow

Tree Swallow

Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Brown Creeper

Bewick’s Wren

Pacific Wren

Bushtit

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

American Dipper

Townsend’s Solitaire

American Robin

Hermit Thrush

European Starling

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Orange-crowned Warbler

Black-throated Gray Warbler

Townsend’s Warbler

Spotted Towhee

Song Sparrow

Golden-crowned Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

Lincoln’s Sparrow

Savanah Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco

Brewer’s Blackbird

House Finch

Purple Finch

Pine Siskin

American Goldfinch

Tuesday April 26, 2022:

Yellow-rumped Warbler, male and female, continues visiting a backyard suet feeder in the hospital area.


Common Yellowthroat (M. Glover)

Sunday April 24, 2022:

The Sunday Bird Walk went to Legacy Marsh in upper Lantzville. Weather was sun and cloud with a cool breeze. Bird activity was good but should get better in the next week or so with more flycatchers and warblers arriving. A few highlights from the bird walk were, hearing the Hammond’s and Pacific-slope Flycatchers, great views of the Common Yellowthroat and Orange-crowned Warblers.

14 birders saw and heard the following 42 species:

Canada Goose

Wood Duck

Mallard

Ring-necked Duck

Bufflehead

Hooded Merganser

Great Blue Heron

Turkey Vulture

Bald Eagle

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Band-tailed Pigeon

Rufous Hummingbird

Anna’s Hummingbird

Northern Flicker

Hammond’s Flycatcher

Pacific-slope Flycatcher

Cassin’s Vireo

Common Raven

American Crow

Violet-green Swallow

Tree Swallow

Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Brown Creeper

Pacific Wren

Marsh Wren

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

American Robin

Varied Thrush

Orange-crowned Warbler

Common Yellowthroat

Townsend’s Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Spotted Towhee

Song Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco

Red-winged Blackbird

Brown-headed Cowbird

Purple Finch

Pine Siskin

Saturday April 23, 2022:

White-throated Sparrow was seen in a backyard in Eagle Crest, Qualicum Beach.


White-Throated Sparrow (V. Taylor)

Avian Flu

We have received many inquires about the Avian Influenza that has been in the news of late, and what to do. So far we know it does not seem to effect songbirds and it is not know what part songbirds may or may not play in the spread. It is known to affect waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors, ravens, crows, magpies. Most reports in Canada are out east but there have been reports in Washington State.

To keep the feeders birds healthy regular weekly cleaning of your bird feeders is recommended, bird baths and areas around the feeders is always recommended. Use a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water to clean your bird feeders and bird baths. Remove old seed from under the feeders and toss in the garbage.

The Wild Bird Feeding Institute has released an announcment with what to do with avian flu and your bird feeders;

WBFI encourages any bird feeding hobbyists that have waterfowl frequenting their bird feeders, or poultry nearby, to remove feeders temporarily. The United States Department of Agriculture reports that “Removing backyard feeders is not something the USDA specifically recommends preventing avian influenza unless you also take care of poultry.”

Here is a link to another article on the Avian Flu, https://www.wbfi.org/2022/02/18/2022birdfluupdate/

Here is a link for Bird Studies Canada information, https://www.birdscanada.org/help-respond-to-the-avian-influenza-outbreak-in-atlantic-canada/

Also, with the return of the Pine Siskins to the backyard feeders it is important to clean the bird feeders and the area under the feeders more frequently, especially with the wet weather. Use a solution of 1 part bleach or industrial white vinegar to 9 parts water for the cleaning, rinse and let dry. Remove any old seed under the feeders and garbage. If possible, move the feeders a few feet every couple of weeks so there is a clean area under the bird feeders for the birds.

The Backyard Bird Walks 

Our bird walks go out Sunday mornings in Nanaimo and Tuesday mornings in Parksville and Qualicum Beach area, are easy walks that go for two to three hours (back for lunch is the plan). Bring binoculars and a field guide. The walks are weather pending.

Please check our blog (www.thebirdstore.blogspot.com) for any cancelations.

Covid-19 Precautions

·         Do not attend if you feel ill.

·         Please respect social distancing, 2 meters or 6 feet.

·         Wear your mask when unable to maintain social distancing.

Thank you.

The Tuesday Bird Walk, May 3, 2022

The Tuesday Bird Walk will be Going to Lot 10 Qualicum Beach.

Meet at the Parksville Tourist Information Center parking lot, located by Hwy 19A, Northwest Bay Road and Franklin’s Gull Road in Parksville, at 9:00 am or meet at the Brant Viewing Stand on Hwy 19A at the north end of Qualicum beach (between Crescent Road W and Beach Terrace) at 9:15am. Weather Cooperating.

The Sunday Bird Walk, May 1, 2022

The Sunday Bird walk will be going to Maki Road Trail, in south Nanaimo.

Meet at The Backyard Wildbird & Nature Store at 9:00am or at the end of Maki Road by the Living Forest Campground at 9:10 am. Weather cooperating.

Good birding! Colin Bartlett