Bird banding at OSCA’s Bird Migration open house at VLBO. (Tanya Brouwers photo)

Popular Bird Migration Day open house happening this weekend

Event focuses on bird adaptation to migration, bird conservation issues and threats and bird banding

Bird enthusiasts will have the chance to see birds being banded and learn about bird migration at the fifth annual bird migration open house at the Vaseux Lake Bird Observatory (VLBO) this weekend.

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The Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance open house, which takes place at the observatory on Sept. 22 from 9 a.m. to noon, focuses on three themes: bird adaptation to migration, bird conservation issues and threats and bird banding. Visitors can also go on a guided walk with nature interpreters.

Organizer Jayme Friedt said over the years, the event has become very popular with residents in the South Okanagan. They see numbers in the hundreds come to open house.

“They love the idea of being able to see so many species of birds, and get a chance to talk with the nature interpreters,” she added. “Not only do they get to see the amazing diversity but the different ways birds have adapted.”

OSCA also offers the fall ECOstudies school programs to regional schools.

“These school and public programs have become so popular and we are very fortunate to have the continued support of Nature Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada who provide funding to run the programs. This year, the VLBO has seen record numbers of birds travelling through our region so it should be very exciting,” said Janet Willson, OSCA chair, in a media release.

The Okanagan is a well-known bird watching hot-spot in Canada and acts as an important summer nesting area for many species, the release reads. Birds breeding in the boreal forest and northern parts of B.C. also migrate through the Okanagan Valley on their way south to the United States, Central and South America. These birds use Vaseux Lake area as a migration stop to refuel on insects and seeds.

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The Vaseux Lake Bird Observatory, which is three kilometres south of Okanagan Falls, is rustic with uneven terrain and narrow pathways. It is not wheelchair accessible.

There is a portable washroom on site. Parking is available on the west side of Highway 97 at a roadside pull-out just north of the site. The event runs rain or shine.

For more information, contact Jayme Friedt at 250-488-9894 or oscaecostudies@gmail.com.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


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