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, 18 September 2016

Nanaimo bird report, September 18, 2016


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 and location of your sighting.

Sunday, September 18, 2016:

The Sunday bird walk went to Nanaimo River Estuary in south Nanaimo. The morning was sunny with calm winds.  We spotted a Western Meadowlark perched on a bush on the estuary.  Common Ravens were seen overhead all morning.  A Red-tailed Hawk was constantly being mobbed by the Common Ravens before catching a thermal and leaving the area.  We watched an Osprey, with a big fish in it’s talons, being mobbed by a Common Raven at the end of the walk.  

Nineteen birders saw and heard the thirty-one species:  


Green-wing Teal

Common Merganser

Great Blue Heron

 Bald Eagle

Northern Harrier

Red-tailed Hawk


 Turkey Vulture

 Greater Yellowlegs

 Short-billed Dowitcher

California Gull

Glaucous-winged Gull

 Belted Kingfisher

 Northern Flicker

 Common Raven

Northwestern Crow

Western Meadowlark

Anna’s Hummingbird

Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Dark-eyed Junco

Bewick's Wren


 American Robin

Cedar Waxwing

European Starling

 Spotted Towhee

Lincoln’s Sparrow

 Savannah Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow

Pine Siskin

Friday, September 16:

Sandhill Cranes were seen above the Englishman River in Parksville.

Wednesday, September 14:

A flock of Sandhill Cranes were seen over Mount Washington.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016:

The Tuesday Birdwalk went to the Little Qualicum River Estuary in north Qualicum Beach. the morning was sunny with calm winds.

Many Surf Scoters, a White-winged Scoter, a Black Scoter, Horned Grebes and Red-necked Grebes were seen from the viewing platform. Killdeer were seen throughout the morning. We watched a Peregrine Falcon lift a flock of Gulls off the gravel bar and then catch a thermal and fly away. We spotted another Peregrine Falcon perched near the top of a tall conifer tree, giving us great views. A Cooper’s Hawk was perched in a tall snag on the estuary. A Merlin was seen catching a Barn Swallow high over the estuary. 

Eighteen birders saw and heard the following forty-one species:

Canada Geese


Northern Pintail

Northern Shoveler

Green-wing Teal

Surf Scoter

White-winged Scoter

Black Scoter

Common Merganser

Common Loon

Pacific Loon

Common Murre

Marbled Murrelet

Horned Grebe

Red-necked Grebe

Pelagic Cormorant

Double-crested Cormorant

Great Blue Heron


Bonaparte's Gull

Thayer’s Gull

California Gull

Glaucous-winged Gull

Belted Kingfisher

Bald Eagle

Peregrine Falcon


Cooper’s Hawk

Eurasian-collared Dove

Northern Flicker

Northwestern Crow

Common Raven

Anna’s Hummingbird

Barn Swallow

Purple Martin

Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Red-breasted Nuthatch

European Starling

Savannah Sparrow

House Finch

American Goldfinch

A Horned Lark was seen on Sugar Loaf Mountain.

Sunday, September 11:

. Fifteen American Pipits were seen at Piper’s Lagoon in Nanaimo.

Tuesday, September 06:

Twelve Orange-crowned Warblers were seen at Diver’s Lake in Nanaimo.


Everyone is welcome to join us for a 2-3 hour bird walk on Sunday & Tuesday. We leave from the Store at 9 a.m. on Sunday Mornings and go to a different location in and around Nanaimo.  We leave from the Parksville Community Park at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday mornings go to a different location in the Oceanside area.


The Sunday bird walk on September 25, 2016 will be going to Buttertubs Marsh in Nanaimo. Meet at the Birdstore at 9:00 a.m. or at the parking lot off Jingle Pot Road at Buttertubs at about 9:20 a.m.

Please note that the parking lot off Buttertubs Drive is closed for construction until October or November


The Tuesday Birdwalk on September 20, 2016 will be going to Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park in Parksville. Meet at the Parksville Community Park parking lot near the Lions Club Playground at 9:00 a.m. or at the main parking lot at Rathtrevor Park at about 9:10 a.m.


Reporting Collared Canada Goose Sightings

Hello fellow birders:

As part of the Vancouver Island University (VIU) Bird Banding project, we banded and collared 200 Canada Geese around Nanaimo last June.  This banding effort is part of an undergraduate research project by VIU biology student Stew Pearce, with main objective to determine the abundance, distribution and movement of geese in the Nanaimo area.  The geese have white neck collars with black lettering that ranges from 000P to 199P.

We are conducting regular surveys to track geese, but we hope to increase the number of collared goose sightings by encouraging birders and members of the public to report their sightings through our project website - https://wordpress.viu.ca/gooseproject/.  There is a simple form to fill out to report sightings.  We are interested in any sightings of these geese, whether in the Nanaimo area or elsewhere, including the number of “uncollared” geese they may associated with.

We appreciate your help with this project.  Feel free to contact us off list to find out more about the project or results so far (stew.pearce@shaw.ca).

Eric Demers, Ph.D., R.P.Bio.
Biology Department
B.Sc. Degree Advisor
Vancouver Island University

     Good birding

       Neil Robins

6314 Metral Drive
Nanaimo B.C.
Phone: 250-390-3669
Fax: 250-390-1633
Blog: www.thebirdstore.blogspot

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