By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: March. 10, 2012
Patrick MacNamare stepped out of the libray and just as he was about to go home, his eyes met a curious sight.
There on the lawn of a house right across from the library, a bird flashed its wings, fodling them in and turning them out. Then it ran a little, stood still, and flashed its wings again.
MacNamara stood there enchanted.
An avid birder, MacNamara watched closely, came home, checked out his bird guide, and concluded he had seen a Northern Shrike Bird.
What he had seen, in fact, was a Northern Mocking Bird, a bird rarely seen around these parts.
It was after a few weeks when he saw the bird again around the library MacNamara realised he had seen an unsual sight.
“There are three sigtings of this bird in Okanagan, but none in Squamish,” a beaming MacNamara says, as he zooms the picture on his camera and puts it close to the guide book.
He discovered the bird on Feb.3, and goes almost every day since to have a look at it.
He is not the only one to do so now.
The discovery has been listed on the ebird website, and the news has circulated outside Squamish. Bird from Richmond, Whistler and Langley now come to Squamish to have a peek at the bird.
The Northern Mockingbird breeds in southeastern Canada, the United States, Northern Mexico, the Bahamas, the Cayman Island, and the Greater Antilles.
Its appearance is usually gray or dark gray with backs and white under parts.
Mockingbirds are rare in BC; there are only two records of them actually nesting here, but a handful show up every year, said Dick Cannings, a well-known birder and a biologist.
Mockingbirds don’t really migrate in the normal sense, but young birds disperse after maturing and can show up hundreds of kilometres from where they were raised, Cannings added.
Canning said being alone in Squamish won’t ‘distress’ the bird, but it might have difficulty in finding a mate.
“Mockingbirds often stay put for a long period of time in B.C., but others disappear quickly,” he said.
MacNamara, meanwhile, he hopes the bird will stay in Squamish, and even bring more eager birders from across the province to town.
“I hope he finds a mate and he can start a family here,” MacNamara says, smiling.