CBC4Kids: Fostering Volunteerism

9 November 2012 – Interested in learning about winter birds in a fun, family-friendly event? Join Bird Studies Canada for the annual Christmas Bird Count for Kids (CBC4Kids)! Participants prepare to count birds with a bird identification and binocular workshop before setting out in small teams led by experienced birders. Teams spend a morning birdwatching, recording species and individuals along pre-determined survey routes. Finally, teams tally and share results, and learn the importance of Citizen Science monitoring for bird conservation. 

The CBC4Kids was launched in 2007 and has been spreading across North America ever since. Select this link to read a BirdWatch Canada article about the program’s development and BSC’s involvement. 

On Saturday, December 8, 2012, BSC will host two CBC4Kids events. Please register early, as spaces are limited. Learn about the Vancouver CBC4Kids (co-hosted by Stanley Park Ecology Society and the Young Naturalists Club of BC) by contacting Karen Barry at bcprograms@birdscanada.org or 604-940-4688. Jody Allair will lead a CBC4Kids at BSC’s Port Rowan, ON headquarters; he can be reached at jallair@birdscanada.org or 519-586-3531 ext. 117. Also contact Jody Allair if you’re interested in organizing an event in your area. 

BSC’s 2012 CBC4Kids events are generously sponsored by The Gosling Foundation and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.

Burrowing owls enjoy new home

A pair of burrowing owls are happily making their winter home in a new habitat built in the Baylands by Sears Point by a couple dozen volunteers last weekend.

The project, hosted by SonomaBirding.com, the Burrowing Owl Conservation Network and Sonoma Land Trust, built four artificial habitats for the burrowing owl. The owls used to be a regular fixture in the Sonoma Valley but ceased breeding in the area more than 20 years ago for unknown reasons. The organizations are hoping that building an ideal habitat on protected land owned by the Sonoma Land Trust will encourage the birds to colonize the area.

School children built two habitats in the area over the summer, and volunteers learned last weekend that two burrowing owls had moved into the space.

"They just sat out and watched us for five hours while we worked," said Tom Rusert of SonomaBirding.com.

Rusert said as soon as people left the immediate area, the birds hopped over to inspect their new digs, and quickly decided to stay.


Major Shift in Bird Species - PRBO Study

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE - (9/09) In one fell swoop, the changes in bird habitats and behavior between now and 2070 will equal the evolutionary and adaptive shifts that normally occur over tens of thousands of years, according to researchers with PRBO, also known as the Point Reyes Bird Observatory. Read More...

Birdseed Types - What is Best!

By BWD editor Bill Thompson, III
Just like people, birds have certain food preferences. The good news for you is that people have been feeding birds for many decades, so you get the benefit of all that trial-and-error experimentation. These days, we, the bird-feeding public, already know what foods birds prefer. At the feeders this means seeds.

But which seeds are the best? In a nutshell, sunflower seed. So if you are just starting out in feeding, I suggest you buy some black-oil sunflower seed at a local hardware store, feed store, specialty bird store, or even at a major retail chain store.

There is a vast array of other foods you can offer birds besides birdseed. To view a few of the most commonly offered non-seed items that birds enjoy.

Mapping The Sonoma Plaza Trees

Celebrating Sonoma's Good Nature!
By Emily Charrier-Botts

The Sonoma Plaza is graced with 60 different types of trees, not to mention the many species of birds that make those trees home. Valley birder Tom Rusert worked with City Parks Supervisor Dave Chavoya and representatives of the Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau to create a guide highlighting all of the ecological wonders of the Plaza that will help residents and visitors spot the difference between a Canary Island Palm and a California Fan Palm tree.

Called “Celebrate Sonoma’s Good Nature,” the brochure and map will be available at the visitors bureau in coming weeks, allowing the community to gain a better understanding of the natural beauty of California’s largest town square.