A Week in Review!

The Fantastic Week of September 2nd - September 9, 2019 

Written by: Ashlea Veldhoen 

HAT is excited to start sharing the first in our new weekly series of Blog posts. We'd like to start sharing what we do on a weekly basis with our lovely supporters, members and friends (and even strangers, too!) to show you how we're making a positive difference in our communities! 

Ashlea Attends the Stewardship Roundtable in Vancouver, BC. - August 24, 2018

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On August 24, Ashlea attended a Stewardship Roundtable held by the Stewardship Centre for British Columbia at the Vancouver Convention Centre. The Roundtable was part of the larger International Ornithological Congress 2018 (#iocongress2018) held at the same location from August 19th - August 26th. This event was held during Vancouver's first-ever International Bird Festival, during which several bird & bird-conservation related events were held, from talks, to walks and even bird-themed yoga, Vancouver became the hub for all things birdie.

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Ashlea - being HAT's resident bird-nerd - was thrilled to be a part of the Stewardship Roundtable, which this year also focused on bird conservation. Ashlea attended a special presentation with a focus on Cats & Birds Living in Harmony - presented by Amy Morris of the BC SPCA, Tanya Luszcz of Environment and Climate Change Canada, Ted Cheskey of Nature Canada, and Bob Sallinger of the Audubon Society of Portland. The organizations all expressed the importance of reducing the number of outdoor cats and encouraged people to come together to improve safety for both cats and birds so that they may live in harmony. Improve safety for cats, you say? Yes, it's true. This talk focused in on the benefits of keeping cats indoors. For instance, did you know that on average cats that roam unsupervised only live to be 2 or 3 years old? Wildlife predation, vehicle collisions, fights with other cats and wild animals and disease are all dangers to an outdoor cat. If you want to learn more, please see Nature Canada's Cats and Birds website, the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon and the BC SPCA for more information! It's about protecting birds AND cats, so if you love your pretty kitty, have a look at some of the inspiring work being done to protect cats as well as their feathered friends! In an interview with Shaw TV, the Stewardship Centre for British Columbia's Executive Director shared information on how you can protect birds and our feline friends

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Ashlea also attended a talk on the Co-benefits of Agricultural Land as Bird Habitat, and another on Wildlife Management Areas/Important Bird Areas and Shorelines. Where she participated in conversations on how to encourage farmers and landowners to adopt best management practices to improve and share their land for local birds, pollinators and other wildlife! We hope to use the detailed information from the Roundtable to help in our Habitat Stewardship and Habitat Management programs in the future! 

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In the last talk, two wonderful women - Midori Nicholson of  Kwakwaka’wakw, B.C., and Purnima Barman led a talk entitled "Birds of a Feather: The Reciprocal Benefits of Protecting Biodiversity", which explored human-avian relationships and how bird conservation can have long-term benefits for humans! Ashlea was touched by the strength and resolve these two women shared and hopes to channel their compassion and lessons-learned into HAT's programs to help improve our stewardship initiatives in the CRD and beyond. 

20180824 205021 webPhoto: Midori Nicholson and Purnima Barman were rewarded with a standing ovation after their inspirational talks.

Bat Exploration Walk with the CRD - August 29, 2018 

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🦇August's Bat Exploration Walk at Elk Beaver Lake Park - filter beds with Capital Regional District hosts Rachel and Kristen was a phenomenal success. A whopping 67 bat-lovers participated, which is about 10X the amount of support we had last year.

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We can't thank everyone enough for coming on the walk to share their love of bats with HAT and the CRD! We hope the interest in bats continues to increase as we work to protect these adorable flying mammals! For more information about how you can help protect bats, visit the B.C. Community Bat Program or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 🦇


Paige attends the Saanich Fair - September 3rd 2018


This past weekend HAT partnered with the Island Pollinator Initiative at the Saanich Fair to educate fair visitors on healthy habitat for bees, birds and butterflies. Three happy volunteers from the IPI posed for a photo with the a beautiful "Backyard Bees of North America" poster. A visitor named Bryson, aged 8, was thrilled to learn that some birds can be pollinators too, exclaiming "I didn't know hummingbirds were pollinators - that's amazing!". There are so many ways you can help pollinators - for more information on how you can help, visit the Island Pollinator Initiative, donate to HAT's Habitat Stewardship Program and check out our Pollinator Guide! Photo: Island Pollinator Initiative Volunteers at our shared booth at the Saanich Fair this weekend! 

Saying Goodbye to our Summer Interns - September 4, 2018

The end of summer marks the end of our internships at HAT, when we are forced to say a bittersweet goodbye to our dedicated Interns, without whom much of our work would not be possible. Liam and Jordana have been stellar additions to the team and worked tirelessly throughout the summer on our projects. Liam helped with events, habitat restoration, stewardship and monitoring and Jordana was integral to the success of our covenant (habitat) monitoring efforts throughout the CRD. Liam - our Habitat Stewardship Intern for this year - will be moving on to study at the University of Victoria in Geography after completing the Environmental Tech. program at Camosun. Jordana - our Land Protection Intern - also recently completed Camosun's Environmental Tech program, will be exploring new career opportunities and hopes to return to HAT next summer!  

We wish them both the best of luck in their careers and hope to see them again soon. If you happen to run across Liam or Jordana, be sure to thank them for all the work they have done to conserve habitat on the Island with us! 

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Saying Goodbye to our Bat Coordinator, Ali Jones, and welcoming a new Bat Coordinator, Alex Mitchell! - September 5, 2018 

AliJones photo HATOur lovely Bat Coordinator, Ali Jones has recently accepted a contract with the Nature Conservancy of Canada and will be passing her HAT Bat-related duties to one of our Bat Count organizers, Alex Mitchell. _She was an amazing Bat Coordinator and was always on the ball when it came to taking bat calls! We are sad to see Ali go, but are glad she is taking the chance to further pursue her career with such a wonderful organization! We are excited to welcome Alex to the team! (And also, she'll be working just upstairs so we can see her at any time!). 


That' it for this week's review at HAT, but there are still so many new things on the horizon that we look forward to sharing with you, so stay tuned for more!



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