Killdeer were spotted for the first time in the past 10 years in the Esquimalt Outer Beach area in Colwood. (Graham Sorenson photo)

Human behaviour likely to deter birds from Esquimalt Lagoon, survey suggests

More Great Blue Herons spotted, fewer mallard ducks seen

More birds are flocking to Esquimalt Lagoon since the pandemic first began.

According to five recent surveys conducted by Birds Canada, the double-crested Cormorant, Rhinocerious Auklet and Pied-billed Grebe all saw increases of more than 200 per cent in the Esquimalt Lagoon/Outer Beach area. For the first time in the past 10 years, killdeer birds were spotted in the Outer Beach area, the part facing towards the ocean from Ocean Boulevard.

Notably, the Great Blue Heron was spotted during all five surveys and there were 10 individuals at a single time versus a maximum of three in the past 10 years.

“A lot of people have been surprised to hear about the [increase of] herons cause they’re an at-risk species on the coast of B.C.,” said Graham Sorensen, BC Projects Coordinator. “Any benefits to their survival is an important thing.”

READ MORE: Survey says: Keep Esquimalt Lagoon fully open to vehicle access

According to the survey, some birds have been flying the coop, including Surh Scoter, Northern Pintail and Mallard, collectively down by 70 per cent. Sorenson suggests that perhaps the reason why birds like the mallard have been showing up in fewer numbers is due to less humans contact as they’ve been accustomed to being fed.

“Traffic is less likely to deter birds from coming to an area versus people that are using the areas,” said Sorenson.

“The easiest thing you can do is avoid dumping trash when you’re out. By keeping the place cleaner, we can prevent small pieces of plastic floating into the water and having birds eat them. Also, keeping dogs on leash when required helps to avoid interfering with wildlife.”

Birds Canada is looking for more intermediate to expert birders to help survey areas including the Esquimalt Lagoon and throughout the Greater Victoria area. There are also other programs that are suitable to birders of any skill level. All interested volunteers can contact Graham at gsorenson@birdscanada.org.

ALSO READ: LETTER: Keep Ocean Boulevard open


@iaaronguillen
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com

birdsesquimalt lagoon

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langford boy wakes up from surgery to find stuffed puppy wearing the same cast

Hospital staff outfitted ‘Eddy’ the puppy to match the young patient

VIDEO: Annual artist studio tour goes virtual on Saanich Peninsula

ArtSea converts popular event to online format with personalized artist videos

Local Flavour: Youth take the lead in Victoria’s Pollinator Leadership Team

Guest writer Thompson Hygge, summer intern with Pollinator Partnership Canada

Sewage installation to delay drivers along Sooke Road until early September

Construction starts Monday, August 10 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Flyover at B.C. Leg to commemorate National Peacekeepers’ Day

August 9 marks biggest single day loss of Canadian lives from peace operations

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Most Read