A river slips through a marsh with an abundance or reeds, bushes, shrubs, grasses and trees around it.

Christmas Bird Count

Each year, on a Sunday about the middle of December, many Field Naturalist club members spend a day identifying and counting all birds seen on selected count areas within 15 km of Williams Lake or at home feeders.  The December 2021 count was the 54th annual count and included 39 participants counting outdoors and 16Continue reading “Christmas Bird Count”

Bluebird Nestbox Project

Contributed by Loyd Csizmadia. Concerned about the use of pesticides to control grasshoppers, Williams Lake Field Naturalist Anna Roberts approached the ranchers of Becher’s Prairie with an alternative: Mountain Bluebirds. In 1977-78, the Williams Lake Field Naturalists initiated the Becher’s Prairie Resource Management Plan. Funding from the provincial Department of Agriculture paid for the constructionContinue reading “Bluebird Nestbox Project”

Are long-billed curlews really shorebirds?

Long-billed curlews are North America’s largest shorebirds but they are often found away from shorelines. In our region, we usually associate them with dry open grasslands but this is only the breeding part of their life cycle. They breed on open grasslands in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and many northwest and north central U.S. StatesContinue reading “Are long-billed curlews really shorebirds?”

Can someone identify this plant which I saw on the grassland?

This a nice photo of a mariposa lily (Calochortus macrocarpus) flower.  It is common in our dry sagebrush and grassland ecosystems although livestock grazing has reduced its historic abundance considerably.  The thick, fleshy bulbs were eaten raw or cooked by indigenous people but due to current declining abundance, harvesting of plants is discouraged.  The leavesContinue reading “Can someone identify this plant which I saw on the grassland?”

Are the swans we see at Scout Island mostly tundra swans or trumpeter swans?

Both tundra swans and trumpeter swans can be seen in most years on lakes and ponds in the Williams Lake area during their migrations northward.  Trumpeter swans are usually seen first, often while there is still ice on the lakes and ponds but some open water is present.  They are seldom seen in the springContinue reading “Are the swans we see at Scout Island mostly tundra swans or trumpeter swans?”