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Recently I assisted the Executive Manager for the BC Burrowing Owl Conservation Society in the field checking up on three nest sites where captive as well as returning Burrowing Owls are breeding.
The Burrowing Owl has been absent from the landscape from the South Okanagan of British Columbia since 1970, mostly due to land disturbance and increased use of pesticides. Not only in British Columbia has there been a decline in populations but as well in the 3 prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. In 1995 the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) declared the Burrowing Owl to be nationally endangered. Today it is estimated that there are fewer than 1,000 pairs remaining, making it one of Canada’s most endangered birds. …Read more
Yours truly had the opportunity to take part in this short film with a handful of locals from the South Okanagan-Similkameen to describe why they love the grasslands of the region and why these rare ecosystems need to be conserved.
For more information on CPAWS-BC’s efforts to create a national park in the South Okanagan-Similkameen, visit www.cpawsbc.org/campaigns/south-okanagan-similkameen
It is mid-March, finally the grey cloudy winter skies in the South Okanagan are giving way to the bright clear skies that we are used to. I look forward to all of the changes just around the corner.
On Tuesday this week while out birding we had a great morning, there was no wind making for spectacular conditions to see waterfowl on the lakes. At Tuc-el nuit Lake in Oliver, our first stop of the day we had Lesser Scaup, Common and Hooded Mergansers, Pied Billed Grebe, Great Blue Heron, Mallard, American Widgeon, and American Coot. As we moved to the North end of the lake we immediately spotted a miniature Canada goose, which is a new species now called Cackling Goose. In July of 2004 the American Ornithologists Union recognized that they should split the two into 2 separate species. …Read more
Many birders, me included, have an affinity for owls (families Tytonidae and Strigidae). They bring a certain fascination, mystique and inspiration that compel many people to seek out these raptors when in the field.
Throughout the world there are some 205 species of owls, many scientists are suggesting that number could be as high as 226. With the advent of DNA testing there has been some arguments that due to the genetic makeup a new species may be validated. We are extremely fortunate in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia to have a strong representation with 14 species. Several species like the Great Horned and Northern Pygmy reside here year round; others like the Flammulated and Burrowing migrate from southern climes to breed while others like the Snowy and Boreal visit in the winter. …Read more