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camoulaged birds

The threatened common nighthawk (Chordeiles minor) is facing large declines across North America.

Above, nighthawk egg; at right, chicks; next page, nesting female.

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This brownish speckled bird is highly camouflaged against its nesting environment on the ground. Females incubating eggs sit very still on the nests, and one can almost walk on top of them before noticing them as they fly off the nest in a burst.

Egg facts:

Please let the Salt Spring Island Conservancy know if you ever find a nighthawk nest! You can often hear adult common nighthawks high in the skies on warm summer evenings — calling and diving for insects over the island. They can be heard feeding over the Blackburn Lake property that the SSI Conservancy is raising money to purchase. This will help protect nighthawk habitat, as well as habitat for a dozen other species at risk, and water quality within the Cusheon Lake watershed. Contact the Salt Spring Island Conservancy if you would like to support this important community campaign: 250/538-0318 or www. saltspringconservancy.ca. Source: LAURA MATTHIAS — SSI Conservancy Biologist

WAY TO PRESERVE LAND

Help us protect crucial habitat for nighthawks and other wildlife!

Spring Island on Salt Help us protect Blackburn Lake and other special places on Salt Spring.

INTERESTING FACTS:

- Over 70 percent of the water arriving to Cusheon Lake flows through the two streams and lush wetlands of the Blackburn property the Conservancy is raising funds to purchase. - Conservancy scientists have located 12 species at risk on or near the property. - The property’s streams and wetlands offer places for coho salmon and cutthroat trout to thrive in Salt Spring’s premier salmon-bearing watershed.

For the water

• Female nig hthawks lay two eggs on the ground in the summer in open rocky or moss y slopes. • Eggs incuba te for about 1 8 days. • Speckled eg gs are also ve ry concealed, b lending into the colours of th e nesting sub strate on the ground. • Once the ch icks hatch, it can be up to another th ree weeks be fore they can fly, leavin g them vulne rable to predation and disturba n ces. Luckily, they too are very d is guised in their nestin g environme n t, appearing as little grey speckled mo unds on the ground.

✔ for abundant birds and wildlife ✔ for healthy drinking water ✔ for places for people to enjoy YES!

My CONTRIBUTION IS FOR:

■ $100 ■ $500

■ $250 ■ $1,000

■ $5,000

■ Other

Name:_________________________________________________ address:_______________________________________________ Ph:_______________ email:_______________________________ Please mail tO:

salt spring Conservancy, PO Box 722, salt spring island, BC V8K 2W3 We’ll issue tax receipts for contributions for $20 or more.

For the birds

For our community

PLEASE DONATE NOW! GULF ISLANDS DRIFTWOOD | AUGUST 2013

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THE BEST OF SALT SPRING ISLAND

THE BEST OF SALT SPRING ISLAND

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GULF ISLANDS DRIFTWOOD | AUGUST 2013

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