Are you ready for spring?

Male house finch in breeding plumage. Photo: Ed Dubois

Male house finch in breeding plumage

All of a sudden, I’m hearing bird song wherever I go, from the single-note whistle of a varied thrush, to the drumming of woodpeckers and the elaborate symphony of a pacific wren who has laid claim to my yard.

It’s a great time of year for bird watching. Early migrants are starting to arrive and nesting season has begun. Males are in their colorful breeding plumage and are singing on territory. All this means a greater variety of birds to see, as well as more visual and auditory clues to identify them.

Are you ready for spring birding?

Download a copy of our birding checklists for the Squamish estuary and Upper Howe Sound. These useful guides give an indication of which species have been seen at what time of year.

Join experienced birders on the Squamish estuary bird count, usually the second Sunday of each month. Everyone welcome. Watch our Facebook page for dates.

Keep your eyes and ears open and share your first spring sightings on our Facebook and Twitter pages! @naturesquamish #birdsighting

Brush up on your bird identification:

Download a birding app for your phone.

  • The Sibley eguide is a popular paid app.
  • Audubon Bird Guide is a good free app.
  • Merlin Bird ID is a free birding app for beginner and intermediate birders, from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
  • When using these apps in the field, remember that playing the recording of a bird’s call, especially in breeding season, may be harmful if done near the bird in question.

If you are new to birding, you’ll also want to invest in a decent pair of binoculars. There are plenty of sites that explain what to look for. Ask experienced birders about their preferences and give their binoculars a try to see what works best for you. www.audubon.org/news/the-2014-audubon-guide-binoculars

Happy spring and happy birding to all!