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, 25 September 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 25, 2016:

The Sunday bird walk went to Buttertubs Marsh in Nanaimo. The morning was cloudy at the start but soon turned sunny with calm winds.  We spotted an American Coot on the marsh.  A Merlin was perched on the top of a tall snag giving us great views.  A Red-tailed Hawk flew over head and disappeared as it caught a thermal.  A large flock of Band-tailed Pigeons landed in a tall tree and then flew off.  A

 Hermit Thrush was seen and heard in a bush close to the trail.

Fifteen birders including two visiting birders from England saw and heard the forty-one species:

         Canada Geese  


  Wood Ducks

  American Widgeon

 Hooded Merganser

  Pied-billed Grebe

Ring-neck Duck

Pintail Duck

Northern Shoveller


American Coot

California Quail

  Great Blue Heron

 Turkey Vulture


Red-tailed Hawk

Northern Harrier

  Rock Pigeon

  Band-tailed Pigeon

  Eurasian-collared Dove

  Northern Flicker

Downy Woodpecker

  Anna’s Hummingbird

 Common Raven

Northwestern Crow

 European Starling

 Yellow-rumped Warbler

Orange-crowned Warbler

  Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Bewick’s Wren


   American Robin

  Hermit Thrush

  Spotted Towhee

  Song Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco

   Golden-crowned Sparrow

House Finch

  Purple Finch

  Red-winged Blackbird

House Sparrow 

Saturday, September 24:

American Pipit’s were seen at Pipers Lagoon in Nanaimo.

Tuesday, September 20:

Two Pileated Woodpeckers are visiting feeders in the 800 block of Douglas Street in Nanaimo.

A Trumpeter Swan was seen at the Deep Bay Harbour today.

                               Trumpeter Swan: John Caddy photo.

Wednesday, September 21: A White-throated Sparrow was seen just off of Owl Place in Long Lake Heights in Nanaimo.

White-throated Sparrow; Kyle Palmer Photo:


Tuesday, September 20:

Parksville/Qualicum Beach--Tuesday bird walk

The morning started out with rain showers, but it soon cleared and the sun shone, brightly.  The winds were calm on the Strait of Georgia.  A large flock of Cedar Waxwings and American Robins greeted us at the start of the walk. We spotted a Townsend’s Solitaire perched high up in a tall conifer tree. Two Ring-billed Gulls, several Bonaparte's Gulls, Mew Gulls, California Gulls, Glaucous-winged Gulls and one lone Thayer’s Gull were preening near the shore.  Horned Grebes, Red-necked Grebes, Western Grebes and a Pacific Loon in breeding plumage were seen further offshore.  We were entertained by a Townsend’s Warbler, a large number of Orange-crowned Warblers and several Yellow-rumped Warblers in the forest. Many flocks of American Robins were seen through out the morning. A very large flock of Canada Geese flew high overhead heading south.

Twenty-three birders including visiting birders from the United Kingdom, Georgetown Ontario, Edmonton and Red Deer Alberta saw and hear the following fifty-three species:

Canada Geese


American Wigeon
Surf Scoter
White-winged Scoter

Common Merganser

Red-breasted Merganser
Horned Grebe
Red-necked Grebe

Western Grebe

            Pacific Loon
              Common Loon

Double-crested Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant

Marbled Murrelet

Common Murre

Turkey Vulture
Belted Kingfisher

Ring-billed Gull

Bonaparte's Gull

Mew Gull

Thayer’s Gull
California Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull

Northern Flicker

Pileated Woodpecker
Northwestern Crow
Common Raven

Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Brown Creeper
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Hammonds Flycatcher

Townsend’s Warbler

Orange-crowned Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Anna’s Hummingbird
American Robin

Townsend’s Solitaire

Hermit Thrush

Cedar Waxwing

Bewick’s Wren

Pacific Wren

European Starling
Spotted Towhee

Golden-crowned Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Purple Finch

House Finch  .

Monday, September 19:

Eleven Turkey Vultures were seen along the shore at Pipers Lagoon 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 October 02, 2016 will be going to Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park in Parksville. Meet at the Birdstore at 9:00 a.m. or at the main parking lot at Rathtrevor Park at about 9:30 a.m.


The Tuesday bird walk on September 27, 2016 will be going to the Plummer Road side of the Englishman River in Parksville. Meet at the Parksville Community Park at the parking lot near the Lions Club Kids Playground at 9:00 a.m. or at the corner of Plummer Road and Shorewood Drive at about 9:10 a.m. 


Trumpeter Swan Conference in Duncan



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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