Going from watcher to birder

Photographer John Gordon hosts free event for people to learn about our feathered friends

Langley photographer John Gordon wants to help people get serious about birds with his presentation, Birding in the Lower Mainland.

“The term changes from bird watcher – when people don’t know really what they are – to just birder, which is when you have a book and move to a more professional level,” Gordon said.

Author of The Canadian Warbler blog and photography collection book The Langleys, Gordon has moved to that second birding level ever since retirment allowed him to spread his wings and explore his surroundings.

Equipped with a DSLR camera, he has taken part in the British Columbia Bird Breeding Atlas count and published many photographs from around the Lower Mainland. His love for birding has taken him all across Canada and even the coast of Mexico.

“I had encouragement form many members of the Langley Field Naturalists,” Gordon explained. “My mentor Al Grass gave me my first up to date bird identification book. Before then I didn’t know one bird from another. I remember opening a page up to a picture of a Western Tanager and I was gobsmacked at the incredible colours and beauty of the bird. I was hooked.”

Birding in the Lower Mainland will be held on Wednesday, July 17 from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Muriel Arnason Library – 20338 65 Ave.

Read more: Butterfly brochure lands in Langley

“The presentation will hopefully open a new perspective on how lucky we are here in the Lower Mainland to be home to over 350 species both migrants from the neo-tropics but also winter birds fleeing the cold winters of the interior,” Gordon added.

The program is free, but registration is required by calling the library at 604-532-3590 to reserve your seat.

Gordon said he will try to touch on where to bird, what can be seen during the various season and if time allows, talk a little about photography techniques. A slideshow of his work and findings will also be given as part of the program.

Gordon’s work and photography can be found at www.johngordonphotography.com.

Gordon said he also shares every finding on an app called eBird which is passed along to Cornell University.

“Thousands of birders like myself are now citizen scientists, the data collected over the past 15 years is changing the way we see birds and in fact how we perceive our place on this place we call home. Birders are on the cutting edge of the climate crisis – the canary in the coal mine so to speak.”

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