Celebrate purple martin success story in Ladysmith

Wear something purple on July 16 and join the BC Purple Martin Stewardship and Recovery Program

Wear something purple on July 16 and join the BC Purple Martin Stewardship and Recovery Program at its 12th annual open house at the Ladysmith Maritime Society marina from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. to celebrate the return of Western Purple Martins, a Species At Risk in B.C.

The B.C. purple martin population has increased from a low of five breeding pairs in 1985 to approximately 1,150 nesting pairs in 2015, mainly as a result of nest boxes built, installed and maintained by dedicated volunteers.

There has been good return of both adult and one-year-old birds this year.

Last summer’s hot, dry weather and a plentiful supply of flying insects for food resulted in a high number of young.

“Although the final count for 2016 is not yet available, there has been a good return of two- and three-year-old birds this year. Many Central Island colonies are again fully, or almost fully, occupied. This is very exciting to see,” said program biologist Bruce Cousens. “The martin colony at the LMS marina is the largest on Vancouver Island and we’re expecting about 70-80 pairs again this year.”

In the Duncan area, purple martins can be seen and heard around the pilings at Cowichan Bay, the second largest colony on Vancouver Island with about 60 pairs of martins in 2015.

Visitors will be able to watch adults feeding nestlings, learn more about the conservation of purple martins from displays and hear stories about purple martin activities around the Strait of Georgia and other parts of Canada.

Martin nestlings will be banded at a session scheduled for about 3 p.m. during the open house.

Light refreshments and purple (blueberry) milkshakes will be served while quantities last. When you get to Ladysmith, follow the yellow signs to the marina and park in the upper parking lot.

The BC Purple Martin Stewardship and Recovery Program is coordinated by Georgia Basin Ecological Assessment and Restoration Society of Nanaimo.

The Recovery Program is supported this year by BC Hydro, Conservancy Hornby Island, Island Timberlands, Ladysmith Maritime Society, Mid Island Coop, Pacific Conservation Assistance Fund, Pender Island Conservancy Association, Rocky Point Bird Observatory, TimberWest, Victoria Natural History Society, and Western Purple Martin Foundation as well as many individuals, volunteers and local businesses.

Just Posted

Jared Popma recently streamed a live concert from the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre. (Ashley Daniel Foot photo)
21-year-old jazz artist talks favourite tunes and joys of music theory

Jared Popma recently streamed a concert from the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre

Vetch cover crop beginning to flower. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Vetch and crimson clover to the rescue of soil fertility

I add dry organic fertilizer as plants use up what is in the soil.

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson column: A shift in perspective can sometimes change everything

Have you even been forced to wake up at 5:30 on a Saturday

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

North Cowichan’s committee of the whole have rejected staff’s recommendation to limit the use of fireworks to Halloween. (File photo)
North Cowichan rejects limiting fireworks to Halloween

Municipality decides staff recommendation would be unpopular

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read