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.

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.
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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

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