LETTER: Bird numbers have changed

A recent article in one of the local papers summarized a CP commentary under the banner of “Bird species declining in Canada.”

Dear Editor

A recent article in one of the local papers summarized a CP commentary under the banner of “Bird species declining in Canada.”

I participate in the annual bird count in the Okanagan while sitting in an easy chair doing an hourly count of birds at my winter feeders.

One of my favourite birds are the California quail which appear in abundance at times.

I’m not sure if you have noticed an overabundance of crows this year.

In fact, in my cherry orchard they monopolized the place over the usual starlings.

However, they also seemed to be there early to establish their territory and in the process also appear to harass the quail.

I have seen virtually no quail this year compared to previous years and I believe the crows are responsible.  Unfortunately, due to close proximity of neighbours I was unable to indulge in any way of getting rid of them.

As well, one of the more spectacular birds that seem to have disappeared almost entirely has been pheasants.

I don’t think I’ve seen one in my orchard for over 10 years.

One animal I miss, despite having incidents with one of my dogs, is the skunk.  When was the last time you saw a live, or dead, skunk?

I believe they were extremely helpful in controlling small rodents such as moles, mice and voles, which are now rampant on orchard and private properties.  I wonder what happened to them?

Frank Martens

Summerland