Bird Watching

Bird watching is a lovely hobby or pastime.  There are 451 species of birds that inhabit the skies and wild spaces of Canada. Birds are not only beautiful, but they also help our ecosystem by reducing insect populations and pollinating plants and dispersing seeds.  And don’t forget Vulture like birds, crows and carrions help clean up messes and things left by humans and microorganisms. 

This hobby isn’t expensive and you can do it close to home.  You could use a field guide to help you identify the birds you’ve seen.  A waterproof notebook, and binoculars can be helpful or even take you to the next level of birding.  Birds can be seen in green spaces, creeks (any open body of water) or even a reedy area.  

Once you have found a space to explore, take your time. Using the four steps suggested by the Audubon Society: STOP, focus on your task at hand, turn off your car or put away your electronics and clear your mind.  LOOK, watch those perch areas on trees, fences, and even power lines.  Look up in the sky for Red Tailed Hawk or a Bald Headed Eagle.  Scan slowly as you don’t want to miss anything.  Look at the sand along the shoreline for birds (sandpipers).  LISTEN, you may hear the tap tap tapping of a woodpecker or the call of a loon on the lake.  Have you heard pheasants making a calling noise similar to a rooster in the morning and at dusk.  Listen for the beautiful songs of a Red winged black bird perched on a cattail or a soggy roadside.  REPEAT, after you have studied the area, carry on to another area.  

If you don’t know what type of bird you see, take notes, what size or shape is the bird (long legged, perching like, tree hugging type, etc).  Are there any particular markings or colors?  Where did you find it? Was it in a marsh or a tree top?  Did you hear it sing?  

Some common birds in our area are: Hummingbirds, Robins, Canada Geese, Herons, Northern Flickers, Black Capped Chickadees, Steller’s Jay (similar to the Blue Jay), American Gold Finch, Starlings, Magpies, Sparrows, Quails, Mallard ducks and of course many more.  What have you seen or heard?  

A weekly feature for Lumby, Cherryville, and area seniors. For more information about any of the following please contact Lauralee or Jenny at (250) 547-8866 Whitevalley Community Resource Centre Office (250) 547-8866. Funding support provided by Interior Health, the Province of British Columbia (Community Gaming), United Way Southern Interior and United Way Lower Mainland.

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