This year, SPES hosted the Vancouver Bird Week Take-Off Celebration to open a week of workshops, walks, talks, exhibitions and lectures that explore all things avian. Happening since 2011, Vancouver Bird Week focuses on our migratory birds and building awareness about the over 250 species that call our region home. It was originally inspired by World Migratory Bird Day, a United Nations-sponsored initiative that recognizes the importance of birds as key indicators of our environment’s health. This opening event offered events like bird “language” training, a hawk and owl show, a bird photography workshop, a wing taxidermy workshop, a bird walk for hipsters, and many more.
To start it off, visitors and passersby chatted with SPES volunteers and staff in a number of educational activities. Visitors tested their ear trying to match bird sounds with catchy phrases designed to help recall the song. Standing at the booth, you could hear the charismatic Black-capped Chickadees sing, “Hey, sweetie!” and the Red-winged Blackbird chirp, “Conkereeee!” For those new to birding, a short Birding 101 walk introduced visitors to the birds of Stanley Park, starting with a fun binocular lesson!
Others got crafty creating feathered bird masks and donning them for all to see in a colourful bird parade that capped off the afternoon. Joined by Still Moon Arts Society, stilt walkers embodying local species such as the American Robin, Northern Flicker and Northwester Crow led the melodic parade through the Stanley Park Rhododendron Garden. Catch the parade highlights in this CBC News report (the May 11th clip starts at the 5 minute mark).
Thanks so much for attending and we look forward to seeing you next year!