Human behaviour likely to deter birds from Esquimalt Lagoon, survey suggests
More birds are flocking to Esquimalt Lagoon since the pandemic first began.
According to five recent surveys conducted by Birds Canada, the double-crested Cormorant, Rhinocerious Auklet and Pied-billed Grebe all saw increases of more than 200 per cent in the Esquimalt Lagoon/Outer Beach area. For the first time in the past 10 years, killdeer birds were spotted in the Outer Beach area, the part facing towards the ocean from Ocean Boulevard.
Notably, the Great Blue Heron was spotted during all five surveys and there were 10 individuals at a single time versus a maximum of three in the past 10 years.
“A lot of people have been surprised to hear about the [increase of] herons cause they’re an at-risk species on the coast of B.C.,” said Graham Sorensen, BC Projects Coordinator. “Any benefits to their survival is an important thing.”
Sorenson suggests that perhaps the reason why birds like the mallard have been showing up in fewer numbers is due to less humans contact as they’ve been accustomed to being fed.
“Traffic is less likely to deter birds from coming to an area versus people that are using the areas,” said Sorenson.
Birds Canada is looking for more intermediate to expert birders to help survey areas including the Esquimalt Lagoon and throughout the Greater Victoria area. There are also other programs that are suitable to birders of any skill level.
Edited by Victoria Watcher, 13 July 2020 - 03:42 AM.