In Squamish, we are fortunate to have many species of birds resident year-round, and they help connect us with the rest of the natural world. The Squamish River Area is recognized as an Important Bird Area (IBA) for many species who need to rest and feed during their seasonal journeys between their wintering grounds (as far south as Chile) and their summer breeding grounds (as far north as the high arctic).
Spring migration is now well underway. May 9 is World Migratory Bird Day and we invite you to celebrate the migration with us. Here are some activities you could choose, either by yourself or with your family:
- Not sure about where to start with bird identification? Download your very own local photo identification guide of birds around here now.
- Download the Merlin Bird ID app to help get you started with identification.
- Check out this free, four-part video series to learn the four basic keys to bird identification.
- Take advantage of this collection of interesting videos about EVERYTHING about birds.
- Watch for birds currently migrating. The Golden-crowned Sparrows have been passing through for a couple of weeks.
- Keep a log of the different species you see or hear in your yard between May 2-9 and send us your list.
- Take “bird-from-the-window” photos.
- If you don’t have a yard, you could record sightings from your daily walks. When you send us your list, let us know whether you are a beginner, an enthusiast, or an expert.
- Be alert for distinctive calls. The Willow Flycatcher’s “fitzspew” is a good example. See whether you can be the first person to report their arrival.
- Download some pages for colouring from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology or the Canadian Wildlife Federation. (Scroll down for the bird-friendly garden page.)
- Download an activity guide for kids and lead an adventure.
- Do a birdwatching blitz from where ever you are. Contribute to science and learn something new!
- Keep a daily watch on the SES Facebook page for interesting and bird-brained information and articles AND
- When we can get back to socializing, join the SES bird group on every second Sunday of the month for a bird walk and count.
Photos above: (Top) A small flock consisting of eight White-crowned Sparrows, eight Golden-crowned Sparrows, and more than twenty Dark-eyed Juncos spent three rainy days fattening up at a local feeder before they continued on during a dry spell. (Right) A Golden-crowned Sparrow.