Hornby Island Natural History Centre

Category: Birds


Christmas Fair this Weekend!

The Hornby Island Christmas Fair is coming up this weekend and we are looking forward to share our fundraising items with everyone! This year, we are featuring some old favourites – rum balls and wildlife photo cards – along with…

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Summer 2018 Photos

Check out this cool footage from Dr. Archer’s presentation of a young glass sponge reef taken just east of Hornby Island! Thank you to the speakers and nature walk leaders for sharing their knowledge and supporting the Natural History Centre: Stephanie…

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“A Walk in Helliwell Park to See, Hear, and Appreciate Birds”

Both the Summer Nature Walks with Art Martell are now full.  We will meet at the head of the trail at 7:55 am, right next to the parking lot. The walk will be about 3 km and take about 2…

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Summer 2018 Events Calendar

We are pleased to announce that the Summer 2018 Natural History Events Calendar is now available! Join us in learning with experts passionate in the areas of marine biology, paleontology, geology, conservation, and ornithology. The Exhibit’s Summer hours of operation begin Tuesday, July…

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Spring Birding with Art Martell and Daniel Donnecke

The Natural History Centre recently held our first spring birding event. On April 6th, Art Martell and Daniel Donnecke gave presentations on the island’s local forest and shore bird residents. In “Learning Bird Songs”, Art introduced our ears to the…

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Hornby Island Spring Birding Event, April 6th and 7th

On Friday, April 6th and Saturday, April 7th, we will be joined by two local experts to celebrate, enjoy, and learn about our shoreline and forest birds, while connecting with other birdwatching enthusiasts. We hope you can join us for…

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Helliwell Park Bird Walk with Art Martell

About eighty people gathered to catch a glimpse of some of the forest and shoreline birds at Helliwell Park. We sought, listened, and enjoyed their presence under the guidance of Art Martell. Art is an ornithologist and keen birder locally,…

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Unusual Hornby Resident! A Yellow-headed Pileated Woodpecker

This rare yellow-headed Pileated Woodpecker lives by the Shire on Hornby Island. They are so unusual that local bird expert, Art Martell, says it’s the first he has seen. According to Art, it is likely a genetic mutation that will probably not…

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Bird Walk – Hearing, seeing and enjoying our local birds

Thursday, August 10th with Art Martell Meet at Helliwell Provincial Park at 9:00 am.  The walk will be about 3 km. and take about 2 hours.  Bring binoculars if you have them. No dogs please. Art Martell is retired in the Comox…

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Summer 2017 Events Calendar

We are pleased to announce that the Summer 2017 Natural History Events Calendar is now available! This year’s topics include Hornby Island fossils, the upcoming Total Solar Eclipse (and what to expect on Hornby), a Helliwell Park Bird Walk, and Sea Otters!…

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A Day of Taxidermy for New Songbird Display with Laurel Bohart

Laurel Bohart, the Natural History Centre’s long-time taxidermist, recently spent a couple days at the Centre helping us choose and prepare birds for the new small bird display. Laurel will take several birds back to her home on Cortez Island…

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A Special Sighting

This summer a boy named Zempei who is very knowledgeable about raptors and wished to spot a barred owl while on Hornby Island visited the Centre with his family. One of the Natural History stewards suggested that, when the family go…

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Speaker Series – “Raptor Awareness”

August 18th: “Raptor Awareness” Join the Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society (MARS) accompanied by an educational ambassador raptor in this presentation for all ages about raptor awareness in the Comox Valley. Some birds who have been rescued cannot be safely returned back to the wild…

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Western Tanager Sighting

Thanks to Mary Savoie for this photo of a male Western Tanager among the blackberry bushes on Hornby Island. The beautiful flame-like Western Tanagers like to make their home among evergreens, often staying out of sight. They are often described as…

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Clever Corvids: The Northwestern Crow

This month’s featured treasure is our Northwestern crow, pictured above. This species lives along the BC and Alaskan coast, while a similar species, the American Crow, lives in the BC interior. Crows are generalist scavengers, eating marine invertebrates, other bird’s…

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Featured Treasure: Dance of the Grebes

Happy Valentines Day! To celebrate this day of love, our featured treasure of the month is the Western grebe – a bird whose courtship dances are elaborate and spectacular! In one display, called “rushing,” the pair race across the water side by…

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Barred Owls on Hornby Island

This November we are featuring the beautiful barred owl perched in our raptor exhibit. This barred owl was added to the collection in 1998. It was found by John Fletcher on his Hornby farm, “The Apple Orchard”. Barred owls have dark eyes,…

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Request for Specimens

In order to develop our collection and educational displays, the Natural History Centre is asking locals for assistance in obtaining animals who have died of natural causes and are in good condition for taxidermy. How you can help If you…

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Bird Outing Report

Art Martell, one of our summer 2015 speakers, brings groups over from the Comox Valley occasionally to spot birds. He has an amazing amount of knowledge to share. The list below is of species that the group heard or spotted during the…

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Hairy Woodpecker Nest

Take a stroll through the woods on Hornby and there’s a good chance you will come across a hairy woodpecker, the most familiar and widespread woodpecker in North America, or hear their rhythmic drumming in the trees. Our featured treasure…

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