Last Chance for Breeding, Breeding evidence that is
An appeal to SHM live-aboard and recreational members alike
Prepared by Rhonda L. Millikin on “Tingari”, 16 June, 2012
My appeal involves voyeurism rather than participatory breeding
So why would you participate?
I’m appealing to you to document the breeding evidence that you witness … for science. And that’s limited to breeding by birds I’m afraid. But it’s for science so that should make it fun; right?
This is the last year for British Columbia’s Breeding Bird Atlas and not many people venture into the remote anchorages that we do as boaters in the Pacific Northwest. Even the not-so-remote anchorages are accessible only by ocean, and therefore, are not surveyed for breeding evidence of birds by people in B.C.
So, because it’s science, you have to be methodical, detailed and exact. You have to know exactly where you are (GPS accuracy of 10m or less) and “who” was involved. If you can’t determine “who”, the more you can say of the species, the better. Take a photo if you can for identification.
I will compile all the observations of breeding evidence by birds in B.C., taken by members of the Spruce Harbour Marina. By providing me the latitude and longitude, I can place your observation in the proper square. All of B.C. is designated to a 10-km square and each square requires a minimum number of hours of survey.
If you would record the following, that would be fantastic:
- For as many species as you can, record the highest evidence of their breeding. The order of evidence is: a) displaying territorial behaviour (e.g. singing against another male of the same species, boundary conflict with another male); b) courtship display; c) adult visiting nest (carrying food, nest material, fecal sac); d) agitated behaviour of adult; e) nest building; f) nest with eggs; g) sounds of young begging for food or recently fledged young (pin feathers)
- Target species not easily found: wetland birds, raptors, owls, nighthawks, rare species
- Survey at different times of the day: morning, dusk and night
- Record now until mid August
- If you’re really keen, record a few (up to 10) point counts (from one point in space, record all species seen and heard as well as the number of each species, for 5 minutes) in the 10 km map grid