Chairman’s Corner #4

Welcome to the Birds Calgary 2010 “big year” competition Blog. If you have not joined the competition please feel welcome to do so. It is for everyone, not just experts.

Well. Well. Well. Here we are at the end of January and still no Snowy Owl! I arbitrarily selected it as the target bird for January. I didn’t think we would go so long without finding one inside the City limits. For February, I thought it would be fun to keep the owl prowl going by expanding the challenge to include any owl – except the Great Horned.

Looking back at what has been reported I feel the Red Crossbills seen and photographed by 12-year-old Matthew Sim deserve special recognition. Mathew sent his photos to Gus, just be sure. I know I have looked at a lot of White-winged Crossbills, hoping to turn one of them into a Red, but no luck. So hats off to Matthew.

White-breasted nuthatch by Anne Elliott

We have received a donation of $1000 from TERA Environmental Consultants to cover promotion and administrative expenses for the competition. The funds will be given to Nature Calgary to manage. So far we have had almost all services donated. Printing posters would have been our biggest expense; however, most of this has been done for free by Minuteman Press on Macleod Trail. I expect the donation from TERA will cover the entire year and maybe even the wrap-up ceremony next February. We have had lots of prizes donated too, but will still need more. You can see the list of prizes on the page “Donors and Sponsors”.

I have not had any response to my request for people to lead a few field trips. These can be one of Gus’s scheduled outings or a special one to a new area or intended for novices.

We would like some outings that are focused on the competition beyond what is offered by the regular Nature Calgary walks. PLEASE LET US KNOW IF YOU WOULD BE ABLE TO OFFER A SATURDAY OR SUNDAY MORNING.

For those of you who are not prepared to act as trip coordinator, but would like to have an outing for some special aspect of the competition, please let us know about this too. Maybe some beginning birders would like an introductory program. Or you have a favourite area you would like to share with the rest of us. Maybe someone would like to try an NMT (non-motorized transport) outing.

Be safe out there. Especially when driving. And, respect private property.

Howard Heffler

Chair, Birds Calgary 2010

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2 thoughts on “Chairman’s Corner #4

  1. I have tree swallows nesting in my back yard and we took some photos. Just noticed that the female has an id bracelet on her ankle. Any idea who did this or why? Just curious.

    thanks

    • Your bird could have been banded anywhere, and its not possible to know who unless the information on that tiny tag can be read. Birds are banded across the continent for conservation information.

      Bird banding is one of the most useful tools in the study of wild birds. Birds are captured and marked with a numbered metal band placed on the leg. The bander records information about the bird, as well as where and when it was banded. Data from recovered bands provide information on the distribution and movement of species, their relative numbers, annual production, life span, and causes of death. The information increases knowledge and understanding of birds and their habits and helps manage and conserve them.

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