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Bird Migration Day open house returns to Vaseux Lake

The popular event gives the public a chance to see the birds banded and released
Matthias Bieber examines the wings of a Red-Shafted Flicker at the Vaseux Lake Bird Observatory’s open house on Sunday. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

As the seasons change, it’s not just humans that begin to fly south for the winter, as Vaseux Lake plays host to migratory bird banding.

The Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance is once again hosting their annual bird migration day open house at the Vasseux Lake Bird Observatory.

The event will be held on Oct. 2 from 9 a.m. until noon, regardless of rain or shine, to give the public a chance to see some migratory birds being banded, go on a guided tour and to learn about what work is being done at the observatory.

The Bird Migration Day focuses on three themes:

* bird adaptation to migration,

* bird conservation issues and threats,

* migration monitoring through bird banding.

READ MORE: Several bird species numbers increasing in South Okanagan, says local bird bander

The bird banding not only allows researchers to track how the various species move, but to keep track of their population levels through year-to-year comparisons.

In just 51 days into their 2019 season, for example, researches had captured and tagged over 2,500 different birds.

In addition to the open house, the OSCA is also offering ECO-studies school programs to regional schools.

This program and the associated regional school programs are funded in part by Nature Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada, and so, are offered free of charge to the public in this open house format. Cash donations are also gratefully accepted on-site.

The Okanagan is a bird-watching hot spot in Canada and an important summer nesting area for many species. Birds that have bred in the boreal forest and northern parts of B.C. also funnel through the Okanagan Valley on their way south to the USA, Central and South America, using Vaseux Lake area as a migration stopover to refuel on insects or seeds.

The Vaseux Lake Bird Observatory is located 3 km south of Okanagan Falls, and due to the terrain is not wheelchair accessible.

Parking is available on the west side of Hwy 97 at a roadside pull-out just north of the site. Please note that parking on the shoulder of Highway 97 is not safe.

Parking directly adjacent to the observatory site is reserved for visitors with mobility issues and staff.

As well, please note that no pets are permitted at the open house.

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Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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