BC’s Lieutenant Governor to celebrate NatureHood & All Buffleheads Day in Sidney, BC

Media Advisory

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Who: Hosted by Friends of Shoal Harbour Society & Nature Canada

Special Guests include:  

The Honourable Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia
Lizanne Chicanot, Principal, Parkland Secondary School
Bob Peart, Director, Friends of Shoal Harbour Society
Sue Staniforth, Director, Friends of Shoal Harbour Society
Alex MacDonald, CBC Radio 1’s In Town and Out weekly bird tweeter and Senior Conservation Manager at Nature Canada

Bufflehead, bird, water, duck, waterfowl, nature, BC, naturehood

Photo by K Finley, P Nicklen

What: British Columbia’s Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Judith Guichon, will join Nature Canada representatives, the Friends of Shoal Harbour Society and 200 students to celebrate NaureHood on the Saanich Peninsula and mark All Buffleheads Day. NatureHood is a national program of Nature Canada that focuses on connecting urban Canadians to nearby nature by engaging them in celebration, inspiration and stewardship  of wildlife and its habitats. NatureHood on the Saanich Peninsula, which is managed by the Friends of Shoal Harbour Society, has been in place since mid-2015 and is closely tied to annual All Buffleheads Day celebrations in the area, or “naturehood”. The Bufflehead is a small seaduck that overwinters in the waters off of Sidney, BC. The Bufflehead is highly punctual with respect to the date of its arrival in the region from its breeding grounds in the boreal forest. All Buffleheads Day is an annual  celebration of this phenomenon and presents a key opportunity to highlight nearby nature and a rich, shared nature heritage for the residents of the Saanich Peninsula.

Where: Parkland Secondary School 10640 McDonald Park Road, North Saanich. Telephone: 250-655-2700

When: Friday, Oct 16th, 2015 – 9:30 am to 11:30 am.

Why: Oct 15th marks All Bufflehead Days given that this is the date on which migrating Buffleheads return en masse to the waters off of Sidney, BC. Because of their striking plumage, highly active nature and their proximity to humans on waterfront properties, buffleheads are one of the most popular birds amongst bird watchers. The bufflehead, also known as the spirit duck, was added to the coat of arms of the town of Sidney, British Columbia, in 1995. Buffleheads are hunted and are considered a gamebird. In contrast to many other seaducks that have declined in recent decades, bufflehead numbers have remained relatively constant. Habitat degradation is the major threat to this bird, since they depend on very limited coastal habitat on their wintering grounds, and very specific habitat in their boreal breeding grounds. Although buffleheads do use man-made nest boxes, they still need the forest habitat to thrive. This event will
help to raise public awareness of the plight of this amazing species.

Interviews: Interviews may be scheduled before, during or after the event. Opportunities to photograph the activities and the birds can be accommodated during the event. A photographer will also be present, with photographs available upon request following the event.

Contact: Alex MacDonald, Senior Conservation Manager, Nature Canada
613-324-7003 (mobile); amacdonald@naturecanada.ca

Mr. Bob Peart, Director, Friends of Shoal Harbour Society (FOSH)

 250-655-0295, bobpeart@shaw.ca

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Nature Canada is the oldest national nature conservation charity in Canada. Our mission is to protect and conserve nature in Canada by engaging Canadians and by advocating on behalf of nature. Over the past 75 years, Nature Canada has helped protect over 63 million acres of parks and wildlife areas in Canada and countless species that depend on this habitat. Today, Nature Canada represents a network of more than 45,000 members and supporters and more than 350 nature organizations across the country, with affiliates in every province.