April 16, 2017

A Sesquicentennial Challenge

2017 marks Canada's 150th birthday. And since everybody loves big round numbers, we'd wager that right now, a whole bunch of Canadians are trying to come up with bucket lists involving the number 150.

And Banff is getting in on the action.  Yesterday marked the first of the Banff Community Bird Walks, held every year from mid-April to mid-June.  The goal with this year's walks is to tally up 150 bird species.

It's our sesquicentennial challenge! (That's the fancypants way to say 150, by the way)

photo courtesy of Amar Athwal

The walks take place on Saturdays and Mondays at 8:15 a.m. and run until June 12. The meeting place is on Sundance Road near its intersection with Cave Avenue in Banff.  The area has wetlands, forest, a horse stable, and grasslands, so the birding is really good.  Some people come for half an hour and keeners sometimes stay until the early afternoon.

We've been to some of the walks ourselves (on one of them, we saw the “grand slam” of Banff's swallow species – all six of them – sitting on a single telephone line near Warner's Stables), and they are a lot of fun.  There's great volunteers who make walk participants feel welcome, spot species, help with bird identification, and share their books & equipment.

photo courtesy of the Banff Community Bird Walk

So join in a walk, and see if you can't contribute to the 150!

ps: one of the participants on most walks is Amar Athwal, who takes great photos of the birds.  His weekly "Moments" emails are superb, and we recommend you sign up by sending an email to warmlight@gmail.com.  Or, check out Amar’s website.