Hummingbirds are looking for a meal

The Feather Factor with Sherry Lidstone

Well folks, it looks like spring has finally arrived and along with it our returning feathered friends!

It’s so nice to see the splashes of colour at our feeders again as Evening Grosbeaks, American Goldfinches, Robins and others delight us with their presence.

Also returning after having flown the coop many years ago… my resurrected column.

I’m back, and I hope to bring you all sorts of news of the bird world…local and global.

I look forward to sharing tips, sightings and all things ‘birdy’ with all you ‘budz of the birdz’.

In the coming days thousands of migrants will be winging their way north from their wintering ranges and descending on our lakes, rivers, fields and ponds and of course, our feeders.

Now is the time to ensure your feeders and bird baths are clean and ready for the weary travellers. It’s also time to get your hummingbird feeders up! They should be here any day and with our still chilly nights and not much in the way of flowers, the flying jewels would be very appreciative of your offerings. (1 part sugar to 4 parts water, boil, cool, serve…no colouring necessary.)

So far, the newest arrivals to my yard and feeders are: Dark-eyed Juncos, American Robins, House Finches, Mourning Doves, Spotted Towhees, Pine Siskins, American Goldfinches and one lone male Evening Grosbeak. This week I counted 27 species in or near my yard with many more to come. Spring birding is always exciting!

A short walk up the road the other day brought my first of the year Turkey Vultures; two of them sharing a deer carcass with two Bald Eagles…awesome! Keep your eyes open for Great Blue Herons and Sandhill Cranes (over a dozen have already been spotted at Darfield).

For those on FaceBook, please consider joining Birding B.C’s Backyards (and beyond).

There you will find stunning B.C. bird photos by group members and in the discussion section, links to several informative B.C. birding web sites. Share your own photos and arrivals with other B.C. bird lovers. Hope to see you there!

HYPERLINK “http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=332999776349” http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=332999776349

One more thing I would like to briefly touch on is the “B.C. Breeding Atlas”.

The BC Breeding Bird Atlas Project is a big task to undertake in such a large province with a small number of residents and even fewer birdwatchers. But the project offers opportunities for adventure in some of the most stunning landscapes in the world. New discoveries will be made because many areas of the province have never before been visited by birders.

This year myself and hundreds of other birders will be spending a few hours here and there monitoring the nesting birds in their respective areas (assigned 10 x10 km squares).

Birds can tell us important things about our environment. Their presence and abundance provide an early warning of the state of ecosystems and their eggs and tissues track trends of contaminants in the environment. Over 300 species of birds breed each year in British Columbia – more than any other province in Canada. Sixty-five species breed nowhere else in Canada and for several other species, British Columbia holds the majority of the world population. For these reasons, British Columbia plays a pivotal role in Canada’s bird conservation efforts.

Anyone can participate in the Atlas. All you need is a pair of binoculars and some birdwatching experience or the desire to learn about birds. You do need to be able to identify birds correctly but you do not need to be expert – all records are welcome.

If you’d rather not join in this undertaking but have active nests on your property or know of nesting birds in your area, “please” let me know. For further info on this program, see the website below or send me an email and I can put you in touch with the regional coordinator.

HYPERLINK “http://www.birdatlas.bc.ca/” t “_blank” www.birdatlas.bc.ca

Please feel free to share your sightings and/or new arrivals at your feeders. If you have any questions, just ask…if I don’t know the answer I’ll find someone who does.

Feedback is more than welcome and most definitely encouraged!

I can be reached at  HYPERLINK “mailto:dalelid@telus.net” dalelid@telus.net , please though, no photos as I have very limited bandwidth.

Keep those binoculars and cameras ready and until next time, Happy Birding!