Vancouver Sun, October 10, 2012 – Birds get a break on anchored logs in Lost Lagoon

Birds get a break on anchored logs in Lost Lagoon

Robyn Worcester and Brian Titaro of the Stanley Park Ecology Society anchor the log in its new resting place in Lost Lagoon. The log will serve as habitat for birds. (Photograph by: Kim Stallknecht , PNG)

VANCOUVER — Birds in Stanley Park got the first of five quiet places on the water in Lost Lagoon Wednesday as part of an initiative to help protect the wildlife in the park.

The Stanley Park Ecology Society is making the resting spots out of logs salvaged from local beaches. Anchored at both ends, the logs are meant to create more habitat for birds on the water away from people and other disturbances on the shore, said Robyn Worcester, conservation program manager for the society.

“The birds need a chance to have peace and quiet away from people,” she said.

“Hopefully it will also provide good viewing opportunities for people to look at birds and take pictures of birds as well.”

The resting places are being created thanks to a $50,000 donation from HSBC.

Worcester said Lost Lagoon plays an important role for not only resident but migratory birds as well. During the winter, the lagoon acts as a refuge for birds fleeing cold weather throughout the rest of the province and from Alberta and the Northwest Territories.

Named the HSBC Freshwater Initiatives in Stanley Park, the program was announced at a news conference at the foot of Alberni street on the viewing platform overlooking Lost Lagoon. The program also includes replacing invasive species in Beaver Lake, parts of the lagoon, and along creek edges with native plants, said Patricia Thomson, SPES executive director.

Because of the program, the society will be able to install nesting boxes for birds in the spring and enlarge at least 10 undersized culverts to accommodate water and wildlife.

Dealing with resident beavers is also one of the challenges for the park, she said.

“We will be wrapping some of the trees to protect them so they don’t all end up as meals for beavers,” she said at the news conference.

Since 1988, the ecology society has been involved in the stewardship of Stanley Park, one of the most famous urban parks in the world. About eight million people annually visit the park, which is both home and a stopover for 240 species of birds.

kevingriffin@vancouversun.com

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