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February 1, 2019 - Publication Alert: Wildlife Afield Vol. 14, No. 1
Birds of the Creston Valley
About 40 years ago Linda Van Damme discovered the Creston valley and spent as much time as she could from her nursing job in Nelson travelling the 240 km round trip to see, hear, and record birds. In 2003, she retired to Creston and dedicated all her free time to documenting the valley’s remarkable bird life. She always had a vision of writing a book on birds of the area incorporating her extensive field notes. For the last two decades, she faithfully developed a working database that included baseline surveys of migrating, nesting, and wintering hawks and owls. She monitored colonial-nesting land and water birds, some unique to Creston, and continued searching for nests for all species. Daily note-taking was the norm. Her diligence resulted in an unparalleled dataset – over 370,000 occurrence records for 311 species. Another 15,000 records were amassed on the 174 species discovered breeding!
• With her extensive knowledge on Creston valley birdlife, Linda Van Damme is currently completing an exciting new book on birds of this area. In this photo, Linda is set up to watch and survey a Double-crested Cormorant colony. Photo by Cyril Colonel.
The manuscript for the book has been completed and editing by ornithologist Wayne Campbell, biologist Patricia Huet, and bird enthusiast Brenda Denkers is nearing completion. The ambitious volunteer venture will be published in full colour, perhaps in two volumes. The book will focus on the history and life of birds in the valley while acknowledging hundreds of contributors who have donated their observations and photographs. It is a more thoughtful and personal approach than for other local bird books.
• In late 2019, the much anticipated Birds of the Creston Valley will be published; the book will be a major contribution to BC ornithology. The breeding sections alone are based on a staggering 15,000 records of nests, eggs, and young, including surprising numbers of Great Horned Owls. Photo by author.
The Biodiversity Centre for Wildlife Studies partnered with Linda to produce this publication. The Ron Jakimchuk Wildlife Heritage Foundation, on behalf of the BCFWS, provided the initial jumpstart and friends and others are also contributing. Names and/or logos of donors will appear in the book and the price will reflect only production and mailing costs. The BCFWS continues to seek funding to help with publication costs. Members, friends, and bird enthusiasts can make a donation via PayPal or by mail. A tax receipt will be issued.
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A sample account for Tree Swallow is available and a new species will be posted each month until publication. The account for Tundra Swan will be featured in the next issue of Wildlife Afield.
Wildlife Afield, Volume 14, Number 1
The Quintessential Naturalist
A new biography, Naturalist and Cloud Watcher, is now available on the life and accomplishments of long-time BC naturalist David Stirling. The book chronicles David’s early subsistence life in Athabasca, Alberta; two years of wanderlust on a motorcycle with his wife exploring Australia; developing the successful BC Parks nature interpretation program; mentoring hundreds of aspiring young naturalists; and in retirement leading wildlife tours to all the world’s continents. He attributed his 97-year life to good genes and following the advice of Ralph Waldo Emmerson who wrote, Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.
The publication, written by long-time friends Wayne Campbell and Barbara Begg, also includes reminiscences of ten friends and a comprehensive list of over 200 articles by David, many of which were published in Victoria Naturalist and BC Naturalist. David authored six books as well.
The 80-page book has four coloured inserts highlighting David’s life and contains hundreds of black-and-white photographs and sketches. It costs $20.00 (including postage) to cover production and postage expenses.
The book is available from the Biodiversity Centre for Wildlife Studies online at www.wildlifebc.org (PayPal) or by cheque at BCFWS, 3825 Cadboro Bay Road, PO Box 55053, Victoria, BC V8N 6L8.
Seabird Colonies of British Columbia
This seabird catalogue will surprise you – it is not just a valuable reference document. In addition to the scientific text, with an exhaustive compilation of 631 published and unpublished sources, are almost 300 photographs and drawings that document the private lives of seabirds and the field experiences of the surveyors. Two provincial artists donated eight paintings of coastal themes that are added as coloured inserts. Also scattered throughout the text are numerous shaded inserts that include fascinating aspects of the lives of nesting birds and vivid memories of the authors. Some anecdotes like A Life Lesson to Remember and Lost in a Fog Bank relate events that could have turned out differently!
Authors Michael Rodway, Wayne Campbell, and Moira Lemon have brought to fruition five decades of work in this updated seabird catalogue for British Columbia. They have a combined 127 years of seabird experience and have visited all colonies at least once and some many times.
This introductory 298-page volume provides an overview of nesting seabirds in British Columbia, including survey history and methods, provincial population summaries, species accounts, threats, and conservation measures. Three subsequent volumes, also to be published in Wildlife Afield, will present detailed histories of every known seabird colony in BC.
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Wildlife Afield, Volume 10, Number 2
GLENN RODERICK RYDER: An Old-School Naturalist
The story of Glenn's fascinating and challenging life
Possibly for the first time in British Columbia an ordinary, non-professional naturalist has been honoured with a detailed account of his contribution to awareness of nature and science and for his conservation efforts.
Chris Siddle, Vernon
Copies have been mailed to members and are also available from the Biodiversity Centre for Wildlife Studies without a membership for $25 CDN (postage included; all proceeds to BCFWS)
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The Legacy of a Pioneering Biologist, Educator and Conservationist
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