Maplewood: December 27th 2009

On Saturday the city was covered in a thick blanket of fog which, in my case, led to some less than stellar birding. On Sunday, however, the skies were clear. I arrived at Maplewood Conservation Area an hour or so after high tide which left a small group of birds congregating on a patch of exposed mudflats to the north of the viewing area.

I managed to slowly creep up to the northernmost viewpoint at the mudflats where two Killdeer were resting only eight or so meters away. One of them opened his eyes and looked me over before going back to sleep…

Killdeer are frequently found in habitat that has been created or modified by humans and this puts them at an increased risk of exposure from chemicals and pesticides (1). Over the summer the District of North Vancouver adopted a “cosmetic pesticide” ban (i.e. pesticides used on residential properties). For the most part this sounds like good news for Killdeer and other urban bird species on the North Shore but there does appear to be a bit of a loop hole in that a permit can be obtained to use pesticides when there is a “threat to health or to physical structures” (couldn’t one just remove the problem plant manually?). Ultimately the success of this pesticide ban will be determined by people’s willingness to put the health of the community ahead of their lawn.

Three Greater Yellowlegs were also in the same area; two of which were resting while the other was foraging in the shallows, nearby a small group of Green-winged Teal were preening and sleeping.

Reference:

  1. Jackson, Bette J. and Jerome A. Jackson. 2000. Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu.proxy.lib.sfu.ca/bna/species/517doi:10.2173/bna.517
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2 Responses to “Maplewood: December 27th 2009”


  1. 1 BirdingGirl January 5, 2010 at 6:58 am

    These shorebird pictures are great! Looks like a successful trip. Thanks for the interesting facts about kildeer. They’re a common shorebird over here on the East Coast.

  2. 2 Marc January 6, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    I’m glad you liked the photos! Killdeer are also quite regular at a few spots here in Vancouver; but they’re one common bird I don’t mind watching for five or ten minutes every time I see one.


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