Author Archives: Sharon McInnes

What is it About Birds?

Birding is purported to be the fastest-growing “hobby” in North America. Apparently, one in five Canadians consider themselves birders ( and the 2009 US census states: “24 million Americans play basketball, 23 million baseball, and 9 million play American football — at … Continue reading

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The Battle to Outwit the Jays

My bird-feeding habits are seasonal. In the spring and summer I let most of the birds fend for themselves. Natural food abounds and I like them to eat the larva and bugs on the trees and bushes. It’s cheaper and … Continue reading

Posted in Bird Canada | 17 Comments

What’s in a Name?

My first passion was not birds but words: I started writing in my twenties, but only discovered birds in my mid-fifties. So maybe it’s not surprising I have a thing about how birds are named. As a novice birder I … Continue reading

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How I fell in love with an app

In May I got an iPhone for my birthday – the one that made me, officially, a card-carrying, pension-getting senior.   Now I text with friends and get emails wherever I am. I like these features in a phone. But … Continue reading

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I don’t know how long he’d been in the garden room. Maybe hours. Busy in the house, I’d decided to take a break and work on the 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle my grandkids had left for me to finish, just that … Continue reading

Posted in Bird Canada, Bird Identification, Canadian Birds, Raptors | Tagged | 11 Comments

The Birds, the Bees, and a Drought

This summer we’re “feeling the heat” as we deal with drought and worry about the threat of fire on our island. (Where would we go??) Water conservation is nothing new to any gulf islander, of course. Although Dennis and I … Continue reading

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The Tar Sands, a Forest, a Billion Birds

In June 2012 I submitted my concerns about Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline (NGP) to the Joint Review Panel of the National Energy Board (NEB). As I told the panel then, “Honestly, I’d rather be bird-watching, but sometimes there’s just no choice.” … Continue reading

Posted in Bird Canada, Boreal Forest Birds, Global Warming | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

A Lovely Bouquet of Crows

Have you seen the cartoon  – on Facebook recently – with two crows sitting on a beam in the middle of an expanse of lawn, looking off into the distance, for … something? Being a lover of both birds and words, … Continue reading

Posted in Bird Canada, Canadian Birds, Citizen Science, Corvids | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Something to Celebrate

On the brink of becoming an official card-carrying senior, I find myself embarrassed, more and more often, at the things we humans do. As a younger person, I was rather optimistic about the world. Now I’m not. Now I wonder, … Continue reading

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A Risky Business

I’ve been feeding the birds in my backyard ever since that morning eight years ago when I noticed several black-hooded birds hopping around the overgrown garden of our new home on Gabriola Island. They made an odd, metallic chip, chip, … Continue reading

Posted in Bird Behaviour, Bird Canada | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments