The Pine Siskin is counted among the many birds we spot locally.

It’s been a slow news week in Nakusp for the birds

Bird activity around Nakusp has been quite slow recently.

Bird activity around Nakusp has been quite slow recently. Even my bird feeders are slower than usual. Daily visitors include a couple of Black-capped Chickadees, two or three Chestnut-backed Chickadees, three Red-breasted Nuthatches, two Downy Woodpeckers and two Northern Flickers. Periodically, a Steller’s Jay also visits.

What is really missing this year are the ground feeding birds. I have had five to ten Dark-eyed Juncos in the yard every winter for as far back as I can remember, but this year I have none. I’ve always had at least one Song Sparrow, this year he puts in only occasional appearances. Earlier this winter I had three Varied Thrushes, now I have none.

Sadly, I think the thrushes have fallen victim to a neighbourhood cat. I definitely found one pile of thrush feathers under the feeder one morning. Within two days, all thrushes were gone. If this continues I will have to seriously consider taking down the feeders altogether. Cats are the number one killer of birds in North America. In an American study done recently it was estimated that 500 million birds are killed by cats each year in the U.S.

There are a few other species visiting feeders elsewhere in town. I know of one feeder that is attracting up to 100 Pine Siskins, more than a dozen House Finches, eight to ten American Goldfinches and a Blue Jay.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about seeing a very late Wilson’s Warbler in Nakusp (I saw it on November 28). Imagine my surprise when I saw the bird again, in the same location on December 16. I have done a bit of checking and as far I can determine, this is the first ever record of this species in the Kootenays in December. It will be interesting to see how long this bird remains here, and if it can find enough food to sustain itself.

Although I did not see them myself, I did have a report of two swans on the lake last week. These could have been either Trumpeter Swans or Tundra Swans; both species do over-winter in southern B.C. Neither of these species, however, spends much time on Arrow Lake. With our constantly changing water levels, nowhere do we have stable shallow water to allow the establishment of aquatic vegetation.

January 2 is the date of the 35th annual Nakusp Christmas Bird Count. Such counts are done all across North and Central America during the Christmas period. If you live in the Nakusp area and want to help, let me know. There are two ways to assist. If you have a feeder, you can keep an eye on it and count how many of each species visit during the day. Or, you can join a group in the field for a few hours. Bird Studies Canada collects a $5 fee from participants, but feeder watchers don’t need to pay. Give me a call at 265-4456 this week if you want to help, or send me an email: gsd37@yahoo.ca.

 

Just Posted

Rural dividend grants awarded in Kootenay West

Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy made the grant announcements in Trail on Thursday

West Kootenay gleaner’s group gets big funding boost

CBT grant allows project to save more local produce from compost bin

Fruitvale man identified in fatal zipline accident in Thailand

Spencer Donaldson, 25, was from Fruitvale, B.C., the city’s mayor has confirmed

RDCK passes climate change ‘call to arms’

Director says the statement will help guide policy

Facing high regulatory barriers, Kootenay cannabis producers gather for support

Symposium on barriers facing legalization attended by hundreds

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

Most Read