A proud parent and new young ‘uns

A proud parent and new young ‘uns

Ornithologists, birders converge on Cranbrook

BC Field Ornithologists hold AGM in Cranbrook, celebrate launch of Breeding Bird Atlas of BC

  • May. 27, 2016 5:00 a.m.

Barry Coulter

This weekend Cranbrook will be the feathery focal point of British Columbia, and the talk will be all things avian, as the British Columbia Field Ornithologists touch down in town for their annual general meeting.

The British Columbia Field Ornithologists (BCFO)  is a province-wide organization made up of birders and professional ornithologists a blend between public birding and science.

George Clulow, President of the BCFO, spoke to the Townsman about the upcoming meeting, and also the recent production of the BC Breeding Bird Atlas — one of the most significant such publications in the world. Though he’s from the Lower Mainland, Clulow was on a pre-convention birding expedition in Southern Alberta.

“We bridge a number of areas — hobby birding, birdwatching and the more scientific side of things as citizen scientists,” Clulow said. “We run birding trips for members, but we also participate in gathering information for other groups.”

“The British Columbia Breeding Bird Atlas — which has just been completed and has just gone online — is one example writ large. The production of the atlas has been a massive undertaking, Clulow said.

“A lot of our members contributed field work, and as an organization we also supported it financially. We weren’t the biggest supporter, because government was involved as well.”

“It’s a huge thing. There’s so much data in there —  information produced by government, by business, by conservationists, by preservationists …”

The work has been years in the making.

“The field work was done between 2008 and 2012 — and then all the compilation and all the maps and graphs and all of the write-ups for each of the species was done between 2012 and now,” Clulow said.

“Also, because the whole document was partly funded by the federal government, it had to be translated into French, so it’s bilingual — it’s probably the most notable bird atlas in the world, being bilingual.

Clulow said British Columbia has the highest diversity of breeding birds out of any province or territory in Canada. The atlas accordingly covers about 320 species of birds. It can be seen online line simply by googling BC Bird Atlas [click here to go directly to the site ]. It will come up right away, Clulow said.

The BCFO represents about 290 members, 89 of whom will be at the AGM’s Saturday night banquet. But first, there will be the birding areas of the East Kootenay to explore.

The BC Field Ornithologists hold their AGM in a different location around the province, choosing Cranbrook this year in anticipation of checking out the unique habitats of the area. “Most of our members have not  birded the Rocky Mountain Trench,” Clulow said. “It’s very attractive from that point of view, to get to areas that very few of us have birded in before.”

On Friday night, the meeting is generally given over to socializing and exchanging birding stories. Starting 5 a.m. Saturday morning the delegates head out birding. Following lunch what’s called the technical sessions take place. This particular time in Cranbrook there will be a presentation from Bird Studies Canada about the Breeding Bird Atlas. Following the presentation will be the AGM proper, with elections, passage of various motions, “the typical kind of stuff that an annual general meeting does.”

A keynote speaker at the Saturday evening banquet will be Jared Hobbs, who is a notable B.C. specialist in owls.

Clulow stressed that a  “key dimension is that we couldn’t do all our field trips without the support of the local group — the Rocky Mountain Naturalists.

We’re delighted to come to Cranbrook, we’ve had a lot of help from the locals and we’re looking forward to it tremendously.”

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

Most Read