The 2004 year in birds

Whistler Naturalists

(Continued from last week’s report)

There were a few big gaps in the records, however. Six each of owl and sandpiper species and eight sparrow species on our list were no-shows or not seen. The notable absentees, however, are the following: Green heron (formerly a local nester), Spruce grouse, Rock pigeon, Three-toed woodpecker, Horned lark and Common redpoll (but seen on this year’s Christmas bird count of 2004). Several other absentees are known to be very rare or "accidental" sightings in years gone by. However, the following have not been seen in over a decade: Tundra swan, Rock and/or Willow ptarmigan, Red-necked Phalarope, Calliope and Annas hummingbirds, Western bluebird, Spotted owl, Eurasian widgeon, Short-billed dowitcher, Franklin’s gull, Lewis’ woodpecker, (Eastern) bluejay, Bank swallow, White-throated sparrow, and the late addition to our checklist – the Snowy owl.

Any sightings of these should be promptly reported to Mike Thompson, Whistler’s recorder of unusual bird data.

Upcoming events:

The Whistler Naturalists is presenting a Whistler Nature Photo Exhibit (Feb. 1-28) and Slideshow Exhibit (Feb. 24). The exhibits will feature images of the Whistler Valley and beyond from both amateur and professional photographers. For more information contact Tracy Howlett at

Monthly Bird Walk — The next bird walk will take place on Saturday, Feb. 5. Join Whistler experts in the monthly update of our feathered locals and migrants. For details, contact Michael Thompson at 604-932-5010.

Calling all inspiring nature writers — Do you have an interest in natural history or want to educate others about your favourite flora and/or fauna? Write your very own Naturespeak article. For more information contact April McCrum at 604-932-0919 or

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