Great Canadian Birdathon 2016 Results

My 2016 Great Canadian Birdathon was Monday, May 23rd. Armed with my scope and phone, I digiscoped all the photos I took during the day, though I wasn’t able to photograph every species I saw.

Tree Swallows were the first species to make the list and just standing outside our front door at 6 am I could hear Sprague’s Pipits, Western Meadowlarks, Killdeer, and an American Robin.


A digiscoped American Robin

I started off scanning the mudflats at the slough across from our house where I was able to find Killdeer, American Avocets, Semipalmated Plovers, Semipalmated Sandpipers, White-rumped Sandpipers and a few Baird’s Sandpipers. Another flock of peeps flew in just a few hundred feet away, so getting closer I found a Stilt Sandpiper (FoS) and a Spotted Sandpiper. Along with all the sandpipers, there were Northern Shovelers, Blue-winged Teals, and Buffleheads on the slough.

I walked over to the woods and I added Baltimore Oriole, Song Sparrow, Least Flycatcher, American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat (FoS), Warbling Vireo, Le Conte’s Sparrow, Red-eyed Vireo, European Starling, and Eastern Kingbird (FoS). It started to rain very gently, but the birds didn’t seem to be affected by it.


American Avocet

I stopped at the house for more breakfast and an opportunity to watch for the Ruby-throated Hummingbird that had been frequenting our window feeder for the past few days. The female hummingbird showed up shortly after I sat down at the kitchen table!

I walked south behind the house to Indian Lake to look for loons and other passerines. I hadn’t been at the lake at all this spring for actual birding and I was surprised to see how much water the lake is holding. There is no longer a shoreline and the water has reached into the woods.


Tree Swallow,


Other than Buffleheads, Blue-winged Teals, and lots of Eared Grebes, I didn’t find any new species. I did hear some warblers “chipping” in the trees, so I followed the vocalizations away from the lake. In the trees I saw more American Redstarts and Magnolia Warblers, Clay-coloured Sparrows, and a Lincoln’s Sparrow — a new species for the day.

Blue-winged Teal,


I was just about to leave the woods when I heard a Rose-breasted Grosbeak singing. I had never seen a grosbeak on any of my previous Birdathons before, so it was a really exciting to see not just one, but two!


Rose-breasted Grosbeak


Red-winged Blackbird

I drove over to our farmyard where I found Brown-headed Cowbirds, Yellow-headed Blackbirds, Vesper Sparrows, and Black-billed Magpies. Two male Cinnamon Teals have been feeding in a little slough near our house everyday for weeks, but as I drove to the farm yard they were absent. I did my morning chores and then drove around to the next township road where the slough crosses the road.

There were American Avocets all over the road and my suspicion that there were nests around was correct. There were multiple nests on the road and others on the edge of the slough. More shorebirds landed nearby and there were two new species in the flock, Least Sandpipers and a Red-necked Phalarope.

The nests on the road,

IMG_0025 IMG_0026

I was still missing a few species such as Ring-necked Ducks, American Coots, and Pied-pied Grebes but found them at another slough down the road. Lunch time was rolling around and back at the house I decided to try again for the teals and there they were, and a Mountain Bluebird on the barbed wire fence to boot.

After lunch I drove to my grandparents’ yard after lunch where I was expecting to find some particular species. On the drive over, there was a Turkey Vulture soaring over the road, with a Swainson’s Hawk below it on a fence post, and an American Kestrel sitting in a snag.


This White-tailed Deer has just crossed the river when it started bounding into the tree. I wasn’t quite fast enough to get a good photo, but I was fun to watch it,


I found Pine Siskins, an Eastern Phoebe, and Yellow-rumped Warblers in my grandparents’ yard. From their yard I birded the Vermilion Provincial Park — a Great Blue Heron, Double-crested Cormorants, and Purple Martins helped my list grow.

I also found this mass of tent caterpillars on a trembling aspen,


I continued birding throughout the afternoon picking up new species here and there. It was getting later in the evening, and as I counted the species on my list I realized I was very close to 100 species for the first time ever in my Birdathon. There were still a few species I could try to find and one of those was Common Grackle. We have some land 12 kilometres north of our house where there’s a slough surrounded by lots of mature trees — it gives the impression of a Boreal Forest slough. There was a Common Grackle singing on there other side of the slough and I heard a Ruffed Grouse drumming on a log.


A male Blue-winged Teal on the slough

There are occasionally some Snow Geese hanging around on the larger sloughs in the area and though I didn’t see any at the first one, after scanning the far shore of the second I did find a lone Snow Goose mixed in with the Canada Geese.


Wilson’s Phalaropes were MIA all day but I finally found two females a few kilometres west of the large slough. The last species of the day was a Veery at our farm yard which was my last stop for the day.


Altogether my Birdathon was excellent and I tallied 102 species (I originally tallied 101 species, but noticed when writing this blog post that I had mistakenly omitted Northern Pintail on the list).

My goal for the Birdathon was $1,575, with my funds earmarked for the Calgary Bird Banding Society and Bird Studies CanadaI’ve received great, generous support and generosity from birders across North America, raising $1,205 so far. Thank you very, very much to everyone who has supported my Birdathon this year — I greatly appreciate all of the donations and encouragement.

If you’d like to add more to my total for the worthy cause of bird conservation (as a reminder, donations over $10 are tax deductible), you can visit my team page.

A list of all the species I saw on my Birdathon (in taxonomic order):

Pied-billed Grebe, Horned Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Eared Grebe Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Snow Goose, Canada Goose, American Wigeon, Mallard, Blue-winged Teal, Cinnamon Teal, Green-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler Northern Pintail, Gadwall, Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Ruddy Duck, Turkey Vulture, Northern Harrier, Swainson’s Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Merlin, Gray Partridge, Ruffed Grouse, Yellow Rail, Sora, American Coot, Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, American Avocet, Willet, Spotted Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Baird’s Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, Wilson’s Snipe, Wilson’s Phalarope, Red-necked Phalarope, Franklin’s Gull, Ring-billed Gull, California Gull, Black Tern, Rock Pigeon, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Northern Flicker, Least Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Kingbird, Warbling Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Black-billed Magpie, American Crow, Common Raven, Purple Martin, Tree Swallow, Bank Swallow, Barn Swallow, Cliff Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, House Wren, Mountain Bluebird, Veery, American Robin, American Pipit, Sprague’s Pipit, European Starling, Tennessee Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat, Chipping Sparrow, Clay-colored Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Le Conte’s Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln’s Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Lapland Longspur, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Red-winged Blackbird, Western Meadowlark, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Brewer’s Blackbird, Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, Baltimore Oriole, Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch, and House Sparrow.

Feathers on Friday

We drove around the area of the Dümmer See, a lake in Nordwestmecklenburg, and I found this pair of White Storks on a nest. These weren’t the first storks of my trip, but it was nice to see them in the province of Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony).

Binoscoped with my Phone Skope adapter with a binocular ring,


(Apologies from Charlotte’s non-birding mother for uploading the incorrect bird photo for last week’s Feathers on Friday. Double apologies in my calving/sleep deprived haze for thinking today is Friday…)


Blueberries and Ospreys

Last week, my parents and I headed up to Moose Lake to pick up my brothers from 4H camp. The landscape around the lake is quite different from home as the lake area is part of the northern boreal forest. The habitat around the lake includes paper birch, poplars, jack pines, white spruce, sand dunes, and lots of wild blueberries!


There were quite a few of other berry pickers in the woods, but there were lots of berries go around. My family picked three ice cream pails of blueberries and so far, my mom has made jam, and a blueberry crumb cake, and I made blueberry-cream muffins.


There weren’t very many birds in the woods, but there were quite a few squirrels,


This squirrel was nibbling on a pine cone,


More blueberries,


I was walking through the woods and came across this active Osprey nest. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo of the Ospreys on the nest as they flew away as I approached, but I watched them circle the nest for quite some time,


A close-up of the very large nest,


The Ospreys were a Year Bird for me, putting my 2014 Year and Alberta lists at 162 species,


There was a flock of Black-capped Chickadees and Yellow-rumped Warblers feeding in the the pines. There were also a few small songbirds mixed in with the chickadees and Yellow-rumped Warblers that I wasn’t able to identify as they were difficult to see in the trees.

Here’s my eBird checklist from our adventure of blueberry picking.

Here’s one of the three Dark-eyed Juncos that were feeding in the low shrubs,


Some of the beautiful trees that surround Moose Lake,


Summer Nests and Some Ethics

This past week, I was out birding and came across six bird nests all around our farm. Whenever I come across a nest, it’s likely because the parent sitting on the nest has flushed from my presence; this is a particular problem in Alberta at this time of year, with farmers starting to swath alfalfa in their hay fields and surprising many nesting birds, particularly ducks.

I will take about a minute to look at the contents in nest, but will spend as little time near it as possible, as my presence may attract predators, and make the parents feel so unsafe that they might decide to abandon the nesting site. I’ve found quite a few nests from small songbirds to waterfowl. I try to follow the ABA’s Code of Birding Ethics as well as the North American Photography Association (NANPA) Principles of Ethical Field Practices.

A friend of mine, Utah wildlife photographer and blogger Mia McPherson, wrote a post in May titled, “Please… give nests and chicks respect”, in which she gave a helpful list on

Ethics on photographing nesting birds:

Do not approach too closely

If the birds show any sign of distress, back away

Don’t trim leaves, twigs or branches to get a clearer shot, you may inadvertently attract predators or cause the eggs/chicks to over heat

Follow local, state and federal guidelines concerning nesting birds

Don’t harass the birds to get an action shot

Don’t stay a long time with nesting birds or chicks, that disrupts their normal behavior

Always remember that your scent may draw predators to the area of nesting birds or birds with chicks.

I believe this is a Chipping Sparrow as it looks similar to a Chipping Sparrow nest I found last year. This nest is on the ground, but the nest I found last year was in a spruce tree,

A Mallard nest,


Brewer’s Blackbird nest in our lilac shelterbelt,


This Sora nest had seven eggs and one chick, but as I walked past the nest, the chick jumped out and swam away,


A female Robin nesting in one of our maple trees,


Here’s another duck nest, but I’m not sure on the species. The eggs are a little smaller than the Mallard’s, but larger than Teals’,


The Greater Sage Grouse — From Egg to Chick

The Greater Sage Grouse is the largest species of grouse in North America, but it is now found only in small areas in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, and is likely Canada’s most endangered species of bird with only 138 birds living in the wild.

The grouse’s population has declined about 98 percent over the past 25 to 45 years. The main cause of decline is from human disturbance of Greater Sage Grouse habitat. Oil, gas, and other development in areas where the grouse breed, winter, nest, and raise their young is a leading factor in their population drop.

In 2013, the Canadian government issued an emergency protection order under the federal Species at Risk Act to try to prevent the birds’ extinction. A 10-year captive breeding program, which will cost $5.3 million, was started at the Calgary Zoo this spring. 

This past May, zoo biologists collected 13 eggs from nests in southeastern Alberta and placed in an incubator at the Calgary Zoo. All of the eggs hatched, but two chicks didn’t survive. When the chicks reached 10 days old, they were moved to the zoo’s Devonian Wildlife Conservation Centre to be raised.

Dr. Axel Moehrenschlager, head of conservation and research at the Calgary Zoo, said,

We are extremely pleased to have developed a process with the Alberta Government of safely finding, moving, and hatching sage grouse eggs that have been collected in the wild. We are demonstrating immediate action to respond to the species’ imminent risk of extinction in Canada. This is the first step towards founding a captive population that can serve to recover the species in the future.

This project is only one piece of the puzzle in solving the population decline of the Greater Sage Grouse. More has to be done about preserving the ever shrinking native praire in southeast Alberta and southwest Saskatchewan. Oil, gas, and other economic development has taken such a large toll on the small and fragile population.

Hopefully this breeding program will succeed for the next nine years and help increase the population of the grouse. If this reintroduction program works, I would love to drive down to the Manyberries area in southern Alberta and observe the male grouse dancing on their leks, It would be such a sight to see.



Spring Migrants near Vermilion

Most of the spring migrants have returned to this part of the province, with many species — including the Tree Swallows, Mallards, Green-winged Teals, and Barn Swallows — already sitting on eggs. I’ve been able to go birding quite frequently this month, so I though I’d share some of my favorite photos from May.

A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker excavating a nest in a poplar tree,


A male Ruffed Grouse taking a break from displaying,


Song Sparrow,


This male Baltimore Oriole was quite difficult to photograph as it kept hiding behind leaves and branches,


The first warblers to arrive in the Vermilion area are Yellow-rumped Warblers (this a Myrtle variant),


I came across this Mallard nest on one of my walks,


This handsome Le Conte’s Sparrow is the most recent addition to my Life List,


A male Yellow Warbler,


I found this dead Red-necked Phalarope near one of the sloughs,


Eskimo Curlew: A Sad Anniversary and a Warning to Heed

“At sunset, September 4, 1963, a lone Eskimo curlew, flying at the head of a flock of shore birds, was shot down by a hunter on the coast of Barbados….

“On finding that the victim was not the familiar whimbrel, the hunters gave the large, buff-gray bird with a long, curving bill to Capt. Maurice B. Hutt…who…placed the bird in his deepfreeze.” It was discovered some 17 months later by James Bond (M.W. Bond 1965:314, 316).
(From the US Geological Survey/Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center website)

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Today marks the 50th anniversary of the last confirmed live sighting of an Eskimo Curlew. The last Eskimo Curlew on record, a single bird, was seen and fatally shot in Barbados on September 4, 1963. The last confirmed live sighting in Canada is even older, in 1932, in Labrador. According to a BSC newsletter from last month, “It seems increasingly likely that the Eskimo Curlew will be the next bird species – and the first since the demise of the Passenger Pigeon in 1914 – to be formally declared extinct in Canada.”

Captain Maurice Hutt, mentioned above, would give the last Eskimo Curlew two years later to ornithologist James Bond, curator of birds at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia (where the specimen, now mounted, remains). Dr. Bond could not know how true his words would be when was quoted in a 1965 newspaper article, “One hundred years from now, this may be the last known specimen of the Eskimo curlew.” In only 50 years, his words are true.

From Randy Boswell’s August 2nd article for

 Under Canada’s endangered species protocols, the elapse of 50 years since the last confirmed sighting of any animal is a key criterion for formally declaring it extinct. And while it could take years for that to happen, when Canadian officials eventually do take the step it will be the first time since the passenger pigeon vanished almost a century ago — in 1914 — that any bird in Canada will be officially classified as lost forever. …

The fate of the Eskimo curlew is also seen as a worrisome omen for other Canadian bird species, particularly at a time when ongoing habitat destruction and climate change are transforming northern nesting sites and important migration stopover spots.

The article mentions the book Last of the Curlews by Fred Bodsworth, published in 1955, which I learned about last year when I wrote a 4H speech on the Eskimo Curlew and other birds that are virtually extinct. Here’s some of what I learned and wrote, from my speech and extra research (which I didn’t have room for in my speech — by the way, my mother actually wrote a blog post the other year using most of my speech research, so if this seems familiar to some readers, that’s why.)

The Eskimo curlew, a medium-sized shorebird in the sandpiper family, is said to have been among the birds that guided Christopher Columbus to the new world. But the curlew is so rare now from overhunting 100 years ago that it’s very probably extinct. If there are any still in existence, scientists think they number fewer than 50 adult birds, when once the population was in the millions and they flew in flocks so thick that they formed dark clouds one kilometer wide and long.

Eskimo Curlew (center), illustration by Louis Agassiz Fuertes

Eskimo Curlew (center), illustration by Louis Agassiz Fuertes

If it sounds much like the story of the Passenger Pigeon, there are definite parallels. Nineteenth century American market hunters who needed a replacement for the pigeon, which they had hunted into extinction, looked around and proceeded to do the same sad thing to the Eskimo Curlew, which they called “doughbirds” — the birds, heavy from gorging themselves on berries, fruit, and insects in their breeding grounds in the Northwest Territories and Alaska, would put on a thick layer of fat in preparation for their migration. The curlews, again like the Passenger Pigeons, were so tight together as a flock that a single shotgun blast could easily kill about 20 birds. The survivors had the unfortunate habit of circling back for injured or dead flockmates, giving the hunters yet another chance to kill more. Hunters first starting shooting the birds on their spring migration. Then, looking for even more, they headed for the curlew breeding grounds, where men would blind the birds with lanterns and then club them.

The Eskimo Curlew’s migration was one of the longest and most complex in the animal kingdom. The winter journey involved a large clockwise circle, beginning at the subarctic Canadian tundra, through the western hemisphere, east through Labrador, down through the Atlantic, across the southern Caribbean, and finally to the Argentinian Pampas and Chile.

Another blow to the Eskimo Curlew, just as it should have been rebounding from overhunting, was the loss of one its important prey species, the Rocky Mountain grasshopper, or locust. If you’ve read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s On the Banks of Plum Creek, you might remember the plague of locusts in the chapter “The Glittering Cloud”:

The cloud was hailing grasshoppers.  The cloud was grasshoppers. Their bodies hid the sun and made darkness. Their thin, large wings gleamed and glittered. The rasping whirring of their wings filled the whole air and they hit the ground an dthe house with the noise of a hailstorm.

… Grasshoppers covered the ground, there was not one bare bit to step on. Laura had to step on grasshoppers and they smashed squirming and slimy under her feet. …

Then Laura heard another sound, one big sound made of tiny nips and snips and gnawings.

“The wheat!” Pa shouted. He dashed out the back door and ran toward the wheat-field.

The locusts were the farmers’ scourge on the Great Plains in the 1870s, and yet the insects’ destruction was as accidental as it was complete, as well as completely devastating for the Eskimo Curlew population. In fact, entomologist Dr. Jeffrey Lockwood has called it “the only complete elimination of an agricultural pest species”. What happened, Dr. Lockwood discovered, is that

Between outbreaks, the locust hid out in the river valleys of Wyoming and Montana — the same river valleys that settlers had discovered were best suited for farming.

By converting these valleys into farms — diverting streams for irrigation, allowing cattle and sheep to graze in riparian areas, and eliminating beavers and their troublesome dams — the pioneers unknowingly wiped out locust sanctuaries. They destroyed the locust’s equivalent of [the Monarch butterfly’s] Mexican forest wintering grounds. They doomed the species.

For the rest of the fascinating story, you can read Dr. Lockwood’s article here.

The Eskimo Curlew could not recover from both overhunting and the loss of such an important food source.

In the summer of 2011, the United States Fish & Wildlife Service announced the initiation of a five-year status review and request for informationseeking any information about the Eskimo Curlew, to review whether the bird should continue to be classified as endangered or formally designated as extinct. The last sighting confirmed by the Fish & Wildlife Service was in Nebraska in 1987.

An excerpt from Chapter One of Last of the Curlews by Fred Bodsworth:

The Arctic day was long, and despite the tundra gales which whistled endlessly across the unobstructed land the day was hot and humid. The curlew alternately probed the mudflats for food and patrolled his territory, and all the time he watched the land’s flat horizons with eyes that never relaxed. Near mid-day a rough-legged hawk appeared far to the north, methodically circling back and forth across the river and diving earthward now and then on a lemming that incautiously showed itself among the reindeer moss. The curlew eyed the hawk apprehensively as the big hunter’s circling brought it slowly upriver towards the curlew’s territory. Finally the roughleg crossed the territory boundary unmarked on the ground but sharply defined in the curlew’s brain. The curlew took off in rapid pursuit, his long wings stroking the air deeply and his larynx shrieking a sharp piping alarm as he closed in on the intruder with a body weight ten times his own. For a few seconds the hawk ignored the threatened attack, then turned back northward without an attempt at battle. It could have killed the curlew with one grasp of its talons, but it was a killer only when it needed food, and it gave ground willingly before a bird so maddened with the fire of the mating time.

The sun dipped low, barely passing from view, and the curlew’s first Arctic night dropped like a grey mist around him. The tundra cooled quickly, and as it cooled the gale that had howled all day suddenly died. Dusk, but not darkness, followed.

The curlew was drawn by an instinctive urge he felt but didn’t understand to the dry ridge of cobblestone with the thick mat of reindeer moss at its base where the nest would be. In his fifth summer now, he had never seen a nest or even a female of his kind except the nest and mother he had briefly known in his own nestling stage, yet the know-how of courtship and nesting was there, unlearned, like a carry-over from another life he had lived. And he dozed now on one leg, bill tucked under the feathers of his back, beside the gravel bar which awaited the nest that the bird’s instinct said there had to be.

Tomorrow or the next day the female would come, for the brief annual cycle of life in the Arctic left time for no delays.

Another edition of the book, in the 1990s, came about because “Pulitzer Prize-winning poet W.S. Merwin found this slim 1955 novel on a shelf in the house of friends, and, struck with the ‘plain, succinct evocation and beauty’ of Fred Bodsworth’s writing, suggested its reissue to a publisher.” That edition has a foreword by Merwin and an afterword by Murray Gell-Man, with J.J. Audubon’s painting of Eskimo Curlews on the cover. The most recent edition I could find, in the New Canadian Library series from McClelland & Stewart in 2010, has an afterward by celebrated Canadian writer and birder Graeme Gibson (who is married to another celebrated Canadian writer and birder, Margaret Atwood). Together they were named in 2006 as Joint Honourary Presidents of BirdLife International’s Rare Bird Club.


For younger children, Last of the Curlews was made into a one-hour animated movie in 1972 to teach them about conservation. It was the very first ABC Afterschool Special, winning an Emmy for children’s broadcasting. The animation by Hanna-Barbera is wonderful, very different from the usual Hanna-Barbera “Flinstones” style of animation. The good news is that the movie is available, in several parts, on YouTubePart 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5. My family and I watched it online and it’s very moving, and incredibly sad — not at all happy or hopeful. Just because it’s a cartoon doesn’t mean the story gets sugarcoated. Extinction is extinction.

We also found on YouTube a little video blurb made by Canadian eco-photographer Edward Burtynsky on Last of the Curlews for the Toronto Public Library.

When I was researching my speech, I looked online to learn more about the author, Fred Bodsworth. Charles Frederick (Fred) Bodsworth was an internationally renowned naturalist, journalist, and novelist. He was born in Port Burwell, Ontario, in 1918, and spent some time working on tugboats and in tobacco fields. He then became a reporter for the St. Thomas (ON) Times-Journal at the age of 22 and later was a writer and editor at The Toronto Star and Maclean’s magazine. Mr. Bodsworth left Maclean’s in 1955 to focus on magazine and nature writing, and novels. He was president of the Federation of Ontario Naturalists from 1964 to 1967. In 2002, he received the prestigious Writer’s Trust Matt Cohen Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Bodsworth died last year, on September 15, 2012, at the age of 93. Friends and family remembered his life with a hike in his memory last fall at the Bracebridge Sewage Lagoons, where Mr. Bodsworth used to spend hours birding. From an obituary in The Globe & Mail (“Storyteller was a citizen of nature”),

A lifelong learner, Bodsworth was an amateur scientist, but his keen observations in the field and his extensive knowledge of bird life earned him the respect of peers and scientific organizations alike.

Bodsworth was a long-serving member of the Brodie Club, a select group of naturalists and scientists who would meet in Toronto to pool information and thus enlarge on what was currently known about natural history. He was also a member of the Toronto Ornithological Club and the Ontario Field Ornithologists. During the 1960s, he was a sought-after leader of worldwide ornithology tours and a contributor to several important anthologies. From 1964 to 1967, he was president of the Federation of Ontario Naturalists (now Ontario Nature).

I will close on this anniversary with some of Mr. Bodsworth’s words:

“Out of the blending of human and animal stories comes the theme that I hope is inherent in all my books: that man is an inescapable part of all nature, that its welfare is his welfare, that to survive, he cannot continue acting and regarding himself as a spectator looking on from somewhere outside.”

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(Note from Charlotte’s mother: Charlotte wrote and scheduled this post for publication before her departure. However, I took the liberty of adding the mention of and link to the BSC newsletter, which came out once she was already in Ontario. UPDATED TO ADD: I also added the incorrect illustration originally, and just changed it to an actual Eskimo Curlew. You just can’t get good help these days…)