February is a highlight for the Wild Bird Trust of BC (WBT) as we get to host our annual Coast Salish Family Day celebrations. In addition, we hosted nine virtual events to stay connected with WBT community members, birders, site visitors, and intersectional conservation enthusiasts.
Here, we present an overview of our February programming. You can view these programs on our social media channels at your convenience. Follow WBT on Eventbrite or Facebook to ensure you don’t miss an exciting event.
WBT Site Manager Alejandro Paredes and Digital Communications Coordinator Nicole Preissl kicked off the monthly event lineup on February 4 with a presentation on World Wetlands Day, a global celebration of wetland ecosystems. For further information, learn about Maplewood Flats’ four interconnected, constructed wetlands from research by Capilano University student Harrison Smith.
On February 6, Director-at-Large of the WBT Board Kevin Bell delivered a presentation on the basics of birding. In the talk, Bell focused on finches, grosbeaks, sparrows, hawks, and accipiters. “Basics of Birding” is a regular WBT series—tune in on the first Saturday of every month. You can watch the first installment of the series online.
WBT Assistant Site Manager Marisa Bischoff and Site Manager Alejandro Paredes led a conversation on the impacts of human activities—such as walking, bicycling, and dog walking—on sensitive, wild ecosystems. The discussion highlights visitor policies enforced at Maplewood Flats, and dives into the evidence and research informing these trail-use guidelines. A written synopsis of human impacts at Maplewood Flats is available on the WBT website.
Watch: For the Kids: Build Your Own Bird Collage
WBT hosted a workshop for kids on how to make their own bird collage with craft and natural materials as a pre-Coast Salish Family Day event.
WBT invited families to celebrate nature and culture from Coast Salish lands and waters for the 3rd Annual Family Day event, presented online on Monday, February 15. Hosted by writer and filmmaker Rachelle George, the three-hour event opened with a welcoming song by Nick George. The welcome was followed by poetry readings, discussions on family stories, climate change, and the Kwekwecnewtxw Coast Salish Watch House, a tour of WBT’s photography exhibit, an Osprey update, and a virtual plant walk. WBT was pleased to feature poet Wil George, land defender Will George, ethnobotanist Cease Wyss, Tsleil-Waututh elder Carleen Thomas, streamkeeper and photographer John Preissl, naturalist Kevin Bell, and photographer Rob Alexander.
The event was free and accessible by Zoom, additionally live-streamed on Facebook and Instagram. Produced by the WBT, with the support of The Province of British Columbia, in partnership with the B.C. Museums Association.
WATCH: Invasive Plants at Maplewood Flats
On February 18, Marisa Bischoff, Assistant Site Manager and Chloe Hartley, Chair of WBT’s Habitat Committee, presented on invasive plant species at Maplewood Flats. They discuss the differences between native, non-native, naturalized, and invasive plants. Hartley also spoke about her thesis, which examines the effects of Himalayan blackberry and English ivy on the plant community at Maplewood Flats. A write-up on Hartley’s research is available on the WBT website for further information.
Squamish ethnobotanist and WBT Nursery Consultant Cease Wyss brought viewers on a virtual plant walk at Maplewood Flats on February 20. The presentation included a pre-recorded walk with Wyss, who shared her knowledge and wisdom about three plants:
xwíxwikw̓ :: Black Huckleberry / Evergreen Huckleberry:: Vaccinium ovatum
tl’íkw’enay̓ :: Kinnick kinnick :: Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
ts’éx̱wts’ex̱w :: Snowberry :: Symphoricarpos albus
The live Q&A followed, where Wyss answered viewer questions. This event is the first in a monthly series, taking place on the third Saturday of each month.
On February 25, Squamish ethnobotanist Cease Wyss, WBT Digital Communications Coordinator Nicole Preissl, and WBT Nursery Growth Manager Erin Kendall joined Kristen Miskelly, Owner-Operator of Saanich Native Plants, to facilitate an open discussion on tips for incorporating native plant species in home gardens. The speakers provided planting tips and tricks for current seasonal conditions.
All About Owls : O.W.L. Presentation + Q&A
Whooo loves owls!? We certainly do. WBT partnered with O.W.L., the Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society, to host an event on owl behaviour on February 27. While this event was not recorded, WBT encourages you to explore O.W.L.’s website to learn more.
WATCH: Fireside Chat
Our Fireside Chat on February 28 with Irwin Oostindie, Cease Wyss, Taylor Boisjoli, and D’Arcy Hutton rounded out WBT’s February programming with a cozy discussion on Decolonizing Landscape Architecture.
WBT Board President Irwin Oostindie and Board Secretary Paul Hundal led the first installment of the monthly Fireside Chat series in January. The series will run on the final Sunday of each month.