A Nature Guide to Boundary Bay
by Anne Murray, with photographs by David Blevins
Endnotes and Sources
A Sense of Place
1. page 1. “Boundary Bay is the most important coastal bay for shorebirds and waterfowl on the coast of British Columbia”...... Butler & Campbell 1987.
2. page 1. Important Bird Area .... see www.ibacanada.ca
3. page 1. Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN) site. The criteria is between 20 000 and 500 000 shorebird visits per year and/or
significant percentages of the world’s population for a species. The Fraser River estuary was designated as a WHSRN site in Fall 2004.
4. page 3. Mud flat snail = Batillaria attramentaria
5. page 5. Eelgrass meadows.... over 120 species of invertebrates, 350 species of seaweed and 90 species of microscopic algae have been recorded …..Short
et al. 2004.
6. page 5. There are two species of eelgrass growing …..Harrison 1987, Cynthia Durance, personal communication 2003/04. At one time it was considered that
Z. marina occurred in two or more subspecies, eg. Zostera marina latifolia…. Taylor 1970.
7. page 6. Concrete reefs at the Roberts Bank terminals ….Gartner Lee 1992
8. page 7. The tidal flats …. average more than 400 gC/sq.m. per year …. to around 200 gC/sq. m./yr at the mouth of the Fraser River. Stockner et al. 1979.
9. page 7. Saltmarsh loss: a map of historic vegetation …. North & Teversham 1984.
10. page 7.… the loss of the original salt marshes is believed to be close to 99% …. Butler 2003.
11. page 8. Salt marshes measure even higher....: e.g. 1000 - 4000 gC/sq.m./yr. see S. Smith and J. Hollibaugh, Coastal metabolism and the oceanic organic
carbon balance, in Review of Geophysics 31(1):75-89, shown as Table 14.2 page 375 of Duxbury & Duxbury 1997.
12. page 9. The Fraser is Canada’s fifth longest river….. Fraser facts from Bocking 1997.
13. page 9.……flows at about 3.5 knots…..Ward 1980.
14. page 10.…..at the rate of about 3m (9.75ft) a year…. measured at sea level. At lower depths it is faster. Kennett & McPhee 1998.
15. page 10.…..flow through the delta increases to 5.5 knots….Ward 1980.
16. page 10. The river is a major migration corridor for salmon, with an annual average of 800 million out-migrating juvenile salmonids. SHIM website, www.shim.
accessed 18/11/02 and SOE 92-1. More than 20 million adult salmon can return to the mouth of the river over the space of a few weeks.. Butler 2003.
17. page 10. The plume is a distinctive ecosystem ….. for more about the plume see Harrison & Yin 1998.
18. page 12 Altogether the Serpentine River drains 116 sq. km … City of Surrey info. [The Nicomekl] watershed covers 149 sq. km……City of Surrey info.
19. page 12. An Ecological Reserve in the Murray-Anderson Creek uplands, managed by the Wild Bird Trust of B.C…. The Forslund-Watson property is owned
by B.C. Environment. It is not open to the public but some scientific studies have been conducted there. Contact Wild Bird Trust of B.C. for more information on their
nature properties and programs: www.wildbirdtrust.org
20. page 13.…… the Little Campbell River ….. drainage, gradients and other information in Drever and Brown 1999.
21. page 13. ……Pacific water shrew and Trowbridge’s shrew; both were seen here in 1992…. Zuleta & Galindo-Leal. 1994.
22. page13. The River then turns suddenly and flows into the bay.….The estuary was substantially modified in the last fifty years; for example 8 Ave into White
Rock was built on fill, covering the old tidal salt marshes to the north of the existing river bed. Don Munro, personal communication.
23. page 14. Altogether the watershed of Dakota and California Creeks and their tributaries covers 14 040 ha (35 102 ac.)… Marine Resources website http:
//whatcomshellfish.wsu.edu accessed 19/05/04.
24. page 14. Some have been lost to culverting and drainage schemes….. see DFO 1988.
25. page 15.…..Chinese geese … also known as swan geese.
26. page 16. ... Flooded farm fields mimic the original marshes.... for example, fields are very important habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds and raptors that used to
use the marshes.
27. page 16. Old fields are mature pastures …. Butler and Campbell 1987. See also publications of the Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust.
28. page 16. The highest diversity of wintering raptors in Canada…..Butler and Campbell 1987, Butler 1992.
29. page 17 Hedgerows are very rich bird habitat... A study showed that hedgerows in the Fraser delta are used by at least forty five species of birds …. Butler
1999. Recent work by Markus Merkens of the Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust (DFWT) puts this number even higher (M. Merkens personal communication).
30. page 17. Together with uncut, natural field margins.... Merkens 2004.
31. page 17. Many studies have shown that hedges and field margins promote beneficial insects, see Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust studies e.g. Cibulova
32. page 17.…. maternal colonies of yuma bats … see Harris & Nagorsen 1996.
33. page 18. Burns Bog …. information from Sims, Matheson & Yazvenko 2000 and Hebda et al. 2000.
34. page 18. ....ecological review in 1999.... Hebda et al. 2000
35. page 18. Water from one third of the bog drains into the bay…..Helbert & Balfour 2000.
36. page 18. Burns Bog is a domed bog…. Hebda et al. 2000
37. page 20. Fens are acidic peatlands..... Canadian wetland scheme classification, National Wetlands Working Group 1988.
38. page 20. A few other patches of fen still occur.....Don de Mille, FBCN presentation, 14 May 2004.
39. page 20. Forests: Boundary Bay lies in the two biogeoclimatic zones, a classification system following Dr Vladimir Krajina of UBC, based on climax trees and
climate. The moist, maritime coastal Douglas-fir (CDF) biogeoclimatic zone, CDFb2, has Douglas-fir as the dominant tree, with understorey of vine maple and flat
moss, in western areas of the watershed, with less than 1250 mm rainfall. It covers the coastal, west and south- facing slopes around Boundary Bay. The eastern
Boundary Bay watershed is in the very dry maritime Coastal Western Hemlock zone, CWHxm, characterised by dominant western hemlock together with dull oregon
grape, sword and bracken fern and trailing blackberry, growing in areas with precipitation averaging over 1250 mm per year. See www.growingtogether.ca/BCForests.
htm. Most Boundary Bay Douglas-fir forest is a modified plant community from that normally described for the zone. See Kistritz et al. 1992.
40. page 20. Mountain beaver, porcupine, bobcat and Townsend’s chipmunk ….. these species are occasionally recorded in higher reaches of the Boundary
Bay watershed, e.g. Drayton Harbor watershed, in Nelson et al. 1991.
41. page 21. Flood plain forests….. local forest classifications following various sources including Haycock & Mort 1988, Puget Sound Cooperative River Basin
Team 1991, Kistritz et al. 1992.
42. page 24. Wildlife gardening…… for more information on gardening with nature see Merilees 2000 or Naturescape British Columbia; www.hctf.ca/nature.htm
Seasons, Sights and Sounds
43. page 25. “Immense flocks of plover were observed flying about the sand”. Work 1824.
44. page 25. February 2, Groundhog Day, is Candlemas in the Christian calendar and Imbolg in the ancient Celtic calendar, one of the key points of the year,
lying half way between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.
45. page 26….bald eagles ……. will hatch out in thirty six days time…. Hancock 2003.
46. page 27. The spawn was once a regular event…see Canada Fisheries and Oceans website: http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/sci/herring/bulletin.htm
47. page 27. California and Steller sea lions….. four to five hundred Steller sea lions wintered off Saturna Island, south of Boundary Bay, in 2003/04. California
sea lions are seen regularly at Point Roberts, near Blaine and at Steveston pier in Richmond.
48. page 27. …the signal for great blue herons to begin their nesting cycle … Butler 1997.
49. page 29.…. up to 28 years for a wild Canada goose….. Bird 1999.
50. page 32. Why exactly cormorants assume this characteristic pose ….Bob Holden of the Vancouver Natural History Society, brought these theories to the
attention of the Federation of B.C. Naturalists. G. Clifford Carl advocated the idea of trapped air in his Guide to Marine Life, BC Provincial Museum handbook, 1971,
and the theory of digesting fish and signaling to other cormorants arose in BBC Wildlife magazine, fall 1995, based on research in Germany.
51. page 34. Boundary Bay often has rare visits from shorebirds..... Vancouver Natural History Society, Bird Records Committee, PO Box 3021, Vancouver, B.C.
V6B 3X5. Hotline 604 737 3074. www.naturalhistory.bc.ca/VNHS
52. page 34. ....juvenile coast moles… Nagorsen 1996.
53. page 35. Trees stressed by drought…..study by Dr Paul Schaberg and Abby Van den Berg, U.S. Forest Service, Vermont, reported in National Post, 7 Oct.
54. page 36. Aleutian Low …. Duxbury & Duxbury 1997.
55. page 37. Snowgeese…… reaching a peak of 80,000 birds in good breeding years…Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) 2000.
56. page 37. Annual rainfall .....averages about 1150 mm. Environment Canada weather data site: http://climate.weatheroffice.ec.gc.ca/climateData/canada_e.
57. page 37. …….until between 100 000 and 200 000 ducks are gathered……..PCJV 2005
58. page 38. Dunlin…… the highest number wintering anywhere in Canada….. Butler 2002.
59. page 38. They fly in these clouds to escape .... peregrine falcons.......Dekker 1999.
60. page 38. The bay is also the best place near Vancouver to see wintering sanderling… Aitchison 2001.
61. page 39. Ladybird beetles have an uncanny ability to predict a cold winter…Majerus 1994.
62. page 39.……including snowy owls during “invasion years”…… theoretically every five to six years but the cycle seems to have changed recently. See
Boundary Bay bird checklist on A Nature Guide to Boundary Bay annex site at www.natureguidesbc.com. (link)
63. page 39. Christmas Bird Counts ….. www.audubon.org/bird/cbc/ and Bird Studies Canada www.bsc-eoc.org
64. page 39. Annual snowfall in the Boundary Bay area averages about 45 cm (18 in)… Environment Canada 2004.
65. page 41. “The more research that is completed, the more we realize how little we know” ~ Tansy 2002.
66. page 41. A semipalmated sandpiper was banded on the Fraser delta ….. Campbell et al. 1990.
67. page 42.….. warblers can travel 100 km/day…. Burton 1992.
68. page 44. A western sandpiper was clocked flying...from California to Alaska, a distance of 3 000 km….Butler 1994
69. page 44. From 500 000 to 1.2 million sandpipers …. Butler & Campbell 1987.
70. page 44. They normally average about 200 km (125ml) per day ….Butler et al. 1996, Butler et al. 1997.
71. page 44 -45. The mystery of migration…… see Berthold 1993, Burton 1992.
72. page 45. .... three-quarters of all North American birds…. Sibley 2001.
73. page 45. ….less than a small granola bar… ie 27 grams (0.95 oz).. Paulson 1998.
74. page 45 ……a range of sounds including low frequency infrasounds below 20 hertz… Mackay 2001, Sibley 2001.
75. page 45. ......many migrants fly at night ….. Berthold 1993.
76. page 45…….to take advantage of tailwinds….. Butler et al. 1997.
Life in the Intertidal
77. page 47. “Take time to enjoy the colours and patterns of the seaweeds….” ..Snively 1978.
78. page 47. The average tidal range in Boundary Bay is about 2.7 m (8.75ft)… Swinbanks & Murray 1981. Winter high tides can be 10 to 20 cm (4 to 8 inches)
higher than during the summer (Ryan1997).
79. page 49. Tides and their causes. ……see for example Duxbury & Duxbury 1997.
80. page 49…..flows strongly northward …..Watson 1998.
81. page 49.……differ by up to 4.1 m (13ft)…… the minimum range of about 1.5 m (5ft)…. Swinbanks & Murray 1981.
82. page 49.….while others live on the sea floor…… the commonest diatom in the mud of Boundary Bay and southern Roberts Bank is Achnanthes delicatula.
Clague et al. 1998.
83. page 50.…..are estimated to contain at least 130 different kinds… BC Prov. Museum Fraser River delta ecology display, 2002.
84. page 50. Steelhead anglers dig them for bait… Ward 1980.
85. page 50. Seaweeds are a very primitive form of plant…for detailed information on local seaweeds and identification see Scagel 1967 or Waaland 1977.
86. page 51.…..green algae….. a slimy green form commonly found is Enteromorpha intestinalis.
87. page 51. Eelgrass meadows……eelgrass has declined by up to 75% in parts of Puget Sound and is considered to be globally at risk … Puget Sound Water
Quality Action Team 2002.
88. page 51.…eelgrass isopods are Idotea resecat. Sea slugs are Phyllaplysia taylori.
89. page 51. Eelgrass leaves are coated with a brown scum.....eaten by ... waterfowl: especially brant and wigeon: a study on the bay showed American wigeon
with a fall diet of 85% Japanese eelgrass. Baldwin & Lovvorn 1992. Wigeon also commonly graze on short grass or newly sprouted cereal fields.
90. page 51. Tiny copepods living in the eelgrass are a key food of chum ……study by Charles Simenstad cited in Bulthuis 2003.
91. page 51.……the meadows are an important rearing area…...Gartner Lee 1992a.
Cycles of Life
92. page 52. “Only a few…. understood how nonlinear nature is in its soul.” Gleick 1987.
93. page 52. It is estimated that a single bull kelp sheds four trillion spores … Yates 1992
94. page 53. A hundred million Callianassa burrowing shrimp….. Clague & Luternauer 1982.
95. page 53. ....rising and falling numbers of voles and mice....see for example Taitt et al. 1981.
96. page 54. The earth moves through three very long term cycles… Pielou 1991.
97. page 54. .....solar cycle 23 lasts from 1997 to 2007… Bone 1998.
98. page 54. Pacific Decadal Oscillation... Hare and Mantua 2000. They identified eleven regime shifts fitting into this cyclical pattern.
99. page 54. El Nino: see for example Caviedes 2001, Glantz 2001, Climate Impacts Group 2004.
100. page 55. In the Georgia Basin, sea surface temperature rose three times higher... Smith & Fraser 2002.
101. page 55. Global average sea surface temperature rise was 0.6C (1.1F) (ranging between 0.4 - 0.8C, (0.7 - 1.4 F))… Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC) quoted in Smith and Fraser 2002..
102. page 55.…. the annual air temperature rose 0.5 - 0.6C… all data in this paragraph from B.C. Water, Air and Climate Change Branch, see Smith and
Fraser 2002, or http://www.gov.bc.ca/wlap
103. page 55. Red tide information from Quayle 1960, Harbo 1997 and University of Ottawa website www.biodidac.bio.uottawa.ca accessed spring 2004.
104. page 55. ....two algae responsible for PSP in the Strait of Georgia ….Harbo 1997.
105. page 55. ...Global incidences of toxic red tides have risen..... Mudie et al. 2002.
106. page 55. ....a phenomenon that may be linked with climate change.....A 2002 Canadian study considered that the rise showed there was a severe
“disequilibrium of the natural ecosystem structure” …. Mudie et al. 2002.
107. page 56. “For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night” William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
108. page 57. ...now unfamiliar sights for many urban residents. Sky glow and light pollution are ubiquitous. The serious environmental and health effects of
artificial light are only recently being recognised; see International Dark Sky Association, www.darksky.org
109. page 59.…..where 11 000 huddle together… Christmas Bird Count 1999.
110. page 59. Swift-Tuttle comet which takes 130 years ….. Full comet name is 109P/Swift-Tuttle. Information from Bone 1999.
111. page 59.….at a peak rate of 80 per hour….. several sources, e.g. Bone 1999, Dickinson 2001, Heudier 2003. Peak activity around the comet’s perihelion
(orbit return close to earth), as observed at a number of locations in North America, can rise to 120 per hour or higher, e.g. in 1981, 1994, etc. Observers wanting to
make a local count of shower activity can use the forward -scatter radio method, with a short-wave radio tuned to a non-audible station. This will pick up a “ping”
signal every time a meteor passes overhead, whether or not cloud is present. See Bone 1999.
112. page 59.… the Leonids…… see Heudier 2003. The Leonids originate with comet Temple-Tuttle, which has a 33 year period.
113. page 61. Birds sing at dawn ….see Mackay 2001.
The Dynamic Earth
114. page 63. “Our landscape is active - the earth movements that created it continue today!” Clague and Turner 2003
115. page 63. The Ring of Fire…. This very description does not mention the complex subject of exotic terranes, pieces of crust from volcanic island arcs that
traveled great distances across the ocean and became accreted to the edge of the continental crust. These terranes create some amazing geology in the Pacific
Northwest and Northern Cascades.
116. page 63.…. at up to 5 cm (2.5in) per year… Clague et al. 1998.
117. page 63. Many geologists think…. Clague et al. 1998.
118. page 64. Boundary Bay is in one of the most seismically active regions of Canada… Clague et al. 1998, Woodsworth et al. 2000. The Boundary Bay
watershed is mostly Seismic Zone 4 in the National Building Code of Canada.
119. page 64. In the case of a severe local earthquake, magnitude M7 or more, liquefaction of the ground could occur… Clague et al. 1998
120. page 64. Most earthquakes experienced in Boundary Bay originate over 20 km (12ml) down in the continental plate........ Rogers 1998.
121. page 64. Moment Magnitude scale see Clague and Turner 2003, or Plate Tectonics website, www.platetectonics.com
122. page 65. Mount Baker is known as a stratovolcano … information in this paragraph from USGS: http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/volcanoes/cascades/volcanoes.
123. page 65. More recent events occurred in 1792...... …Espinosa y Tello 1930.
124. page 65 ..... and in the 1800s.... In 1843 a noisy and fiery eruption sent tephra and ash into the air; see USGS website for history of eruptions.
125. page 65. The Lummi name for Mount Baker is Kul-shan…. Jeffcott 1949.
126. page 65. …..the white mountain, Quck-sman-ik … Jeffcott 1949.
127. page 66. ….the air was only an average 3 to 5 deg. C colder… Ryan 1997.
128. page 66. Once melting began it was fairly rapid, at more than 100 metres (300ft) a year. Schuster (Ed.) 1987.
129. page 66. Most of the Boundary Bay watershed was ice clear by about 12 500 years ago… Blunt et al. 1987.
130. page 67….to depths of 200 m (650 ft) below North Delta and Surrey ..….. and up to 800m (2600ft) below the Fraser delta…. Ricketts 1998.
131. page 67. The Sumas glacier…. was the last to go… see Clague and Luternauer 1982, Blunt et al. 1987.
132. page 67. “Kame and kettle landscape” is the geological name … Clague and Luternauer 1982.
133. page 67. Fossil shells from cockles, mussels and clams… Clague and Turner 2003.
134. page 68. “The marine life of British Columbia is among the most diverse in the world” Cannings & Cannings 1996
135. page 68. Whales & porpoises: …..fewer than a hundred resident killer whales….. The southern resident population of killer whales was listed as
endangered in Canada in Nov. 2001 (Cosewic 2004) and was ruled “significant” and eligible for protection under the US Endangered Species Act in December 2003.
Protection under the US Endangered Species Act was announced in 2005. The southern resident population was 79 whales in 2002 (see note 137).
136. page 68. J Pod are sighted year round, but K and L Pod visit from June to October.... Lifeforce Foundation information pamphlet, published 1998. Lifeforce
Foundation Box 3117, Vancouver B.C. V6B 3X6 or Box 121 Pt. Roberts, WA 98281-0121.
137. page 69. ......aquarium captures in the 1960s and early 1970s… 47 killer whales were taken from 1967-1973 for aquariums. Cannings & Cannings 2002.
138. page 69. By 2002, the southern resident population was 79, down from 98 in the mid 1990s….Cannings & Cannings 2002.
139. page 69.….not uncommon in the neighbouring Gulf Islands…. Dr James Smith, personal communication, February 2003.
140. page 69. ....humpback whales were historically abundant in the Strait of Georgia... Merilees 1985.
141. page 69. …..one was sighted by the Vancouver Whale Watch…. Dr Mary Taitt, zoologist, personal communication, April 2004.
142. page 70. Grey whales…..are occasionally seen blowing offshore. Members of the White Rock and Surrey Naturalists reported occasional sightings from
Kwomais Point - personal communication. Grey whales have been stranded in e.g. White Rock 1994 and at Centennial Beach, summer 2005.
139. page70. Seals & Sea lions: …..up to two hundred have been counted…. Taylor 1970. Another favourite harbour seal haul-out is the floating breakwater at
Semiahmoo marina in Drayton Harbor.
140. page 70. Male seals are territorial in summer…. Information from David Attenborough’s video, The Blue Planet, BBC, UK. This is a highly recommended
video series for anyone interested in the ocean.
141. page 70.….. northern fur seal ….. recorded from Roberts Bank… Gartner Lee 1992a.
142. page 71. Anthropologist Wayne Suttles.... .Suttles 1987.
143. page 72. About 400 -500 Steller sea lions were recorded off Saturna by Vancouver Whale Watch in winter 2003-2004 (Dr Mary Taitt, personal
communication). A few were still there in mid-May. Steller sea lion numbers have drastically declined in south western Alaska since the 1980s, along with some other
marine species. The decline may be related to climate change and food shortages: an adult male sea lion needs 36 kg of fish a day to survive. The British Columbia
population is considered to be stable, but is being monitored. The North Pacific Universities Marine Mammals Research Consortium website www.marinemammal.org
has more information and the latest research.
144. page 73. Big Mammals: Deer & Bears About five black bears are believed to still live in Burns Bog …. McIntosh and Robertson 2000.
145. page 73. Rare sightings of bears plodding down the power cut... Dale Denney, Elaine Wismer, Green Timber volunteers, personal communication.
146. page73. Bears also occur in the Drayton Harbor watershed….. Puget Sound Cooperative River Basin Team 1991.
147. page 74. Squirrels Douglas’s squirrels… see Wilson & Ruff 1999.
148. page 74 -75 …….eastern grey squirrels…. Spelled “gray” squirrels in USA.
149. page 75. Biologist Emily Gonzales......Gonzales 1999.
150. page 75.......pelts can be either black or grey. One with a rare chocolate brown pelt was observed by the author on several occasions at Dennison Park in
Tsawwassen in 2004.
151. page 75. The grey squirrel mates… information in this paragraph from Wilson & Ruff 1999.
152. page 76. Not included in this section is the only member of the chipmunk confirmed for the Boundary Bay area, the Townsend’s chipmunk. Observations by
Glenn Ryder as are recorded in Haycock & Mort 1988; the species is listed for the Drayton Harbor watershed by Puget Sound Cooperative River Basin Team. 1991.
153. page 76. Small Mammals: Voles, Moles and Shrews: Small mammals play an important role in local forest ... ecosystems ... Machmer and Steeger 1995,
154. page 77. Three-quarters of the food eaten…. Mary Taitt, personal communication.
155. page 77. Young voles are small and dark…. Material in this section from Mary Taitt, interviewed in “Journeys – Mary Taitt, Saving the Wetlands”, TV
Ontario video January 1994.
156. page77. …. was discovered in a Burns Bog pine forest …. Hebda et al. 2000.
157. page 79. Shrew distribution: Information on rare shrews of the watershed from Zuleta and Galindo-Leal 1994 and from Nagorsen 1996
158. page 79. Coast moles…..…. Information on moles from Nagorsen 1996.
159. page 79. The weasel family: Rumours persist about the occurrence of long-tailed weasels in the watershed (see for example Haycock & Mort 1988, Gartner
Lee 1992b, Kistritz et al. 1992) but there are no confirmed records or specimens that I could find. The common weasel is the short-tailed weasel.
160. page 79. In the 1850s wild mink were very common in the marshes…Ladner 1972.
161. page 79. .....can even be a nuisance at fish hatcheries..... Semiahmoo Fish and Game Club hatchery….. personal communication with hatchery volunteers.
162. page 80.….western spotted skunk….see Murray 2004.
163. page 80. Muskrat & Beaver: During the nineteenth century, muskrats were very common…e.g..Ladner 1979. The bounty on muskrats was 10 cents
apiece in Delta during the 1890s.
164. page 81. Today they are important regulators of water levels in Burns Bog. A bog fire in summer 2005 may have been exacerbated by the dry condition of
the bog following destruction of beaver dams due to flooding concerns earlier in the year.
165. page 81.…..the little brown myotis ….. information on bat species from Nagorsen & Brigham 1993, and Bats in British Columbia, B.C Environment pamphlet,
166. page 82….can eat up to 600 mosquitoes in an hour… Bat International information, www.batcon.org
167. page 82….up to 1700 insects a night… Machmer & Steeger 1995.
168. page 82. There were several hundred at Alaksen in 1996 ..….Harris & Nagorsen 1996.
169. page 82. Bats: ….bat rabies virus…if you suspect at all that you have been bitten or scratched, seek medical advice immediately. Rabies is potentially fatal,
but readily curable if treated before symptoms appear.
170. page 83. Coyotes and foxes: …..has spread throughout the continent…. information in this section based on Christine Lampa’s M.Sc. research, see Lampa
171. page 84. If one comes too close….. Coexisting with Coyotes Program recommendation, Stanley Park Ecology Society, www.coexistingwithcoyotes.ca
172. page 84. A recent review of red fox sightings…. Murray 2004.
173. page 84. Glenn Ryder reported… in Haycock & Mort 1988.
174. page 84. Don DeMille found…. Hebda et al. 2000.
175. page 85. Raccoons: Information from MacClintock 1981, Wilson & Ruff 1999 and North Vancouver Ecology Centre pamphlets and display, 3663 Park Rd,
North Vancouver, B.C. V7J 3G6.
176. page 86. Local zoologist Dr Mary Taitt noted….. personal communication 2003.
177. page 86. New arrivals: Rabbits, Rats & Opossums ... eastern cottontails…… McTaggart Cowan & Guiguet 1978.
178. page 87…..they have been reported less frequently…. Canadian Pest Control operators, personal communication, 2002.
179. page 87. The first official records for British Columbia....McTaggart Cowan & Guiguet 1978.
180. page 87. Shorebirds: The Fraser River estuary is the top site in Canada ….. www.ibacanada.ca
181. page 87. Fifty shorebird species have been recorded ….. Price 1990.
182. page 87. Winter dunlin numbers are the highest for Canada...... Butler & Campbell 1987, Butler (Ed.) 1992.
183. page 87…..between 30 000 and 60 000 on Boundary Bay….for selected records, see Campbell et al. 1990
184. page 88 and 91 Shorebird records… Campbell et al. 1990, Elliott and Gardner 1997, Paulson 1998, Price 1990, Aitchison (Ed.) 2001, VNHS Bird Records
Committee data, published in Discovery Magazine, e.g. Plath 2000.
185. page 89. Up to 92 000 have been counted on a single day…..Butler (Ed.) 1992.
186. page 89.……fly around in flocks far offshore…. Dekker 1998, Dekker 1999.
187. page 89 - 90…….a large percentage stop to rest and forage….. see e.g. Butler & Campbell 1987, Campbell et al. 1990.
188. page 90. In their lifetime, these tiny birds travel a distance equivalent to four times round the world…. Butler 1994.
189. page 90. Very similar to the least and western sandpiper, semipalmated sandpipers are also long distant migrants between Alaska and Central America.
The main coastal passage through Boundary Bay seems to be in July and August, although other birds travel by an inland route. Favoured stopping areas include
Mud Bay, Beach Grove lagoon, Blaine and Blackie Spit. See Paulson 1998.
190. page 90. Short-billed dowitchers are mostly seen on spring migration in the bay, when their soft three note call “tu tu tu” may be heard. The long-billed are
more common in the fall, from September to November, and have a sharp “keek” call note. Any dowitchers seen in winter will likely be long-billeds. See Campbell et al.
1990, Paulson 1998.
191. page 90. Baird’s sandpipers….. a similar species is the pectoral sandpiper, also a regular visitor to Boundary Bay in small numbers.
192. page 90. Black-bellied plovers: two uncommon relatives, the American golden plover and the Pacific golden plover also occur on migration. The
semipalmated plover is a smaller bird, a few of which visit the mud flats in spring or late summer each year.
193. page 90 ….three percent of North America’s entire population…. Butler 2002.
194. page 91. Black turnstone….two similar birds, the surfbird and rock sandpiper are uncommon visitors to rocky shores and jetties.
195. page 91. Bristle-thighed Curlew….. is disputed by some authorities. Paulson 1998.
196. page 93. Eagles, Hawks, Falcons & Harriers: David Hancock ….. Hancock 2003
197. page 94. John Ireland, Manager of the Reifel Bird Sanctuary…. personal communication.
198. page 95. Dick Dekker has spent a lifetime ….. Dekker 1998.
199. page 95. Some biologists think that the lower sandpiper numbers….. Dove Lank, Birds on the Bay talk, May 1 2004, Delta.
200. page 96. Owls: Barn owls are at the northern limit of their range…. Campbell et al. 1990
201. page 96-97 Barn owls have the keenest sense of hearing … Bird 1999.
202. page 97…..can capture their prey in total darkness…..Sibley 2001.
203. page 97…….twenty eight were once found together …. CBC data, Campbell et al. 1990.
204. page 97. They once commonly nested in old field habitat ......Campbell et al. 1990.
205. page 97. .....twenty or more could regularly be seen near Centennial Beach …..Allen Poynter, personal communication.
206. page 97. Hundreds were shot ……Vancouver Natural History Society, Jeremy McCall, personal communication.
207. page 97.……at the coast they prey on buffleheads….. Campbell et al. 1990
208. page 98....a maximum count there of 32 in 1973 … Contreras 1994.
209. page 98.…..burrowing owl…. was extirpated in 1976… Butler & Campbell 1987. A few were regularly seen at the Boundary Bay airport up to 1984.
Campbell et al. 1990.
210. page 98.…..has been recorded from Dakota Creek…. Washington Birder: Vol.9. Number 3. Fall 2001.
211. page 98….. very rare boreal owl..… Elliott & Gardner 1997.
212. page99..Dabbling Ducks, Diving Ducks & Mergansers:
213. page100. Dabblers, or puddle ducks, tip up to feed …..see Baldwin and Lovvorn 1992. Dabbling ducks have 375 taste buds (Bird 1999), far more than
many species of birds, and this makes them very discerning feeders. Maybe because of this, their flesh is tasty and they are most sought after by hunters.
214. page 101. Wood ducks nearly died out in ….. see Leach 1982, Butler and Campbell 1987. The elegant canvasback was also more abundant historically,
but local populations were wiped out when Sumas lake in the Fraser Valley was drained early in the twentieth century. In contrast the ruddy duck seems to have
increased in numbers since the 1930s and small flocks of these dumpy stiff-tailed ducks are sometimes seen in winter.
215. page 101. A pair of ring-necked ducks ….Kyle Elliott in Aitchison 2001.
216. page 102. The only British Columbia record for Baikal teal..... smew recorded at…. bird records from Campbell et al.1990.
217. page 102. Two king eiders…. Brian Self personal communication.
218. page 102…..clocking 161 km/h (100 mph)… Bird 1999 for this and other bird achievement records.
219. page 102. Geese & Swans: Between 30 000 and 80 000 snow geese …. Environment Canada ecoinfo website: www.ecoinfo.ec.gc.ca
220. page 103. The last remainder of a large Siberian population…. Wrangel Island populations declined from 150 000 in 1970 to 60 - 70 000 in 1990s.
Canadian Wildlife Service, CWS 2000.
221. page 103. Extreme winter weather in the past …… Kerbes et al. 1999.
222. page 103. ...numbers on the Fraser- Skagit have steadily increased … Sean Boyd, CWS, personal communication 2003.
223. page 104. ….. brant are once again wintering…. Pacific Coast Joint Venture 2005, Environment Canada www. ecoinfo.ec.gc.ca, Washington Brant
224. page 104... …..where the regional high count [for brant] is about four thousand birds… Eissinger 1994.
225. page 104. Canada geese were also migrants … see Leach 1982.
226. page 104. …..a stock of mixed parentage: probably western/Vancouver/Great Basin Canada goose… Leach 1982.
227. page 104. An emperor goose at Beach Grove…. The December 1994 bird was erroneously reported as two birds.. see Poynter 1995 and Elliott and
228. page 105.…. three established breeding populations on the continent = Pacific, Rocky Mountain and Interior…see The Trumpeter Swan Society www.taiga.
229. page 107. Great blue heron & sandhill crane:...a non-migratory dark subspecies, Ardea herodias fanninii,…. Information from Butler 1997.
230. page 107. An amazing 450 nests …. R.G. Vennesland, MWALP in McClaren 2003.
231. page 108. Before 1955, the large Point Roberts heronry …. Kelsall 1989.
232. page 108. At its peak, this colony had nearly five hundred nests…. Eissinger 1994.
233. page 108. At Crescent Beach, a colony of 40 to 50 nests ….. Kelsall 1989.
234. page 108. .....bald eagles harassed the herons and carried off young… Delta Naturalists 2003.
235. page 109. [Sandhill crane] was once a common resident … Leach 1982, Gebauer 1995.
236. page 110. Gulls, Terns and Seabirds: Gulls are a confusing group….for help with identification see Grant 1997.
237. page 110. These colours, particularly of eyes and legs are.... crucial to the gulls....Sibley 2001.
238. page 110.….Its [glaucous-winged gull] numbers have significantly increased in the last 50 years ….Vermeer & Butler (Eds.) 1989.
239. page 111….the Fraser delta is their major congregation point on the coast… Butler & Campbell 1987.
240. page 111. ….related herring gull…. The North American subspecies of the worldwide herring gull differs in appearance from its European relative. Thayer’s
gull is sometimes considered a subspecies of Iceland gull, the Kumlien’s subspecies of which occasionally turns up near Boundary Bay. To make things even more
confusing Thayer’s gull can be mistaken for glaucous-winged and western hybrids and vice versa! see Grant 1997.
241. page 111. The slaty-backed gull …. first Boundary Bay record in 1989…VNHS records. Other rare gulls include: Glaucous gull, Sabine’s gull, little gull,
ivory gull, (winter of 1991/2 at Roberts Bank), black-legged kittiwake, and black-headed gull. Campbell et al. 1990, Elliott and Gardner 1997, Plath 2000, Aitchison
(Ed.) 2001, VNHS records, etc.
242. page 111. All three species … Parasitic jaeger is regularly seen off Point Roberts between August and October; pomarine jaeger and long-tailed jaeger are
rare transients in late summer, but it is not impossible to find all three species along the shore at Lighthouse Park, Point Roberts, on a single day.
243. page 111. Other terns: Elegant tern: an influx associated with the 1983 El Nino event saw up to 7 birds on Boundary Bay. Common tern: spring and fall
migration, Arctic tern: rare transient, Forster’s tern: uncommon summer transient, Black tern: an uncommon summer visitor, more common near fresh water.
244. page 112. Drayton Harbor has the only local record for thick-billed murre.... on 31 December 1986 ….. Contreras 1994.
245. page 114. Warblers: ...yellow-rumped warblers... two populations are present: Audubon’s warbler with a yellow throat and Myrtle warbler, from the north
and east, with a white throat and more contrasting black cheek. Audubon’s outnumber myrtle in the Pacific Northwest by a ratio of two to one. Butler & Campbell 1987.
246. page 115. Rare warblers info from VNHS Rare bird alert records.
247. page 115. “warblers form different associations...” see DeGraaf and Rappole 1995.
248. page 116. Woodpeckers:……ideally with a diameter of more than 43 cm (18in)…. Steeger et al. undated. Other studies have shown even larger trees in
forested areas over 36 ha (90 ac) may be required for stable populations.
249. page 117. Hummingbirds: ... weighs a mere three and a half grams …this and other information on hummingbirds from Johnsgard 1983.
250. page 117. …. they beat 90 times a second and up to 200 beats a second during a dive … Bird 1999.
251. page 119. Swallows and swifts: An archaeological site at Charlie Lake…. Fladmark 1986.
252. page 119. A common breeding bird until about 1948… Campbell et al. 1990.
253. page 119 Nest box programs: Friends of Semiahmoo Bay Society, Marg Cuthbert, personal communication.
254. page 119. Increased use of agricultural pesticides… in the last decade, highest pesticide use rates by fruit farmers near Boundary Bay were in South
Surrey and East Richmond. Schreier et al. 1998. Mosquito larvae control is carried out by the GVRD because of concerns regarding West Nile disease. Spraying
against gypsy moth is another common event in the Boundary Bay watershed. Homeowner use of insecticides, mosquito controls and garden pesticides and
herbicides continues to be high in residential neighbourhoods and many municipalities are looking at increased regulations for public and ecological health.
255. page120. Crows: ….the Burns Bog landfill has translated into more crows over the last twenty years…crow numbers increased five-fold when the
Vancouver Landfill opened in 1965. Butler & Campbell 1987.
256. page 121. ….playing with automatic sensor lights… William Topping in a note in Discovery, June 1996, 25(2), p65, the magazine of the Vancouver Natural
257. page 121. The western scrub-jay is being seen more frequently since a sighting in 1981. B.C. Naturalist: 21/1, Federation of B.C. Naturalists. Vancouver, B.
258. page 122. Snakes and Turtles: Distinguishing between garter snakes…. See Gregory and Campbell 1984.
259. page 123. Colourful western painted turtles… Blood & McCartney 1998.
260. page 123.……red slider turtles… Red Sliders are native to the southern US, including Texas. There is more information on this species on the Texas
Wildlife Department’s website at: www.tpwd.state.tx.us/nature/wild/reptiles/slider.htm
261. page 124. Frogs and Salamanders: Bullfrogs …… contributed to the local decline of the oregon spotted frog… www.pacificbio.
262. page 124. According to Rob Rithaler…. Rithaler 2002.
263. page 125. ……five different species of salamander … Rithaler 2002, Murray 2004.
264. page 125. …following a fatal incident of human poisoning… see Corkran and Thoms 1996.
265. page 125……wetlands throughout the agricultural lowlands .… Rithaler 2002.
266. page 126…..epidemics of chytrid fungus… The Boreal Dip Net; the Newsletter of the Canadian Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Network/Reseau
Canadien de Conservation des Amphibiens et des Reptiles. Winter-Fall 1998 - Volume 3, Numbers 1 & 2. P16.
267. page 126. Fish of all kinds: ….more than fifty other species of fish …Kennett & McPhee 1988.
268. page 127. Rockfish…see Marine Resources of Whatcom County at http://whatcom-mrc.wsu.edu/Fact_Sheets/index.htm
269. page 128….which arrived in the 1950s….first record in B.C in 1953. Carl et al. 1977.
270. page 128. Western brook lampreys ..…Lamb & Edgell 1986.
271. page 128. White sturgeon… see Glavin 1994.
272. page 128. Whether the elusive green sturgeon…spawns in the Fraser .... http://www.dfg.ca.gov/mrd/mspcont7.html
273. page 128. Only a few now survive...…according to Pearson 1998, Drever and Brown 1999, they have disappeared completely from the Little Campbell
River, but Margaret Cuthbert, personal communication, 2005, related reports of fish coming through from Bertrand Creek, in the Nooksack River drainage, in the
upper headwaters of the Campbell.
274. page 129. 800 lb White sturgeon.... see Glavin 1994.
275. page 129. Pacific halibut were thirty five times as numerous in the Fraser...xxxxx
276. page 130. Salmon: Their eggs are laid in gravel beds… see Bell 1996 for details.
277. page 130. Seven species of salmon…. Previously the two anadromous trout species were classified separately from salmon. They are now included in the
oncorhynchus genus. Bell 1996.
278. page 130. Largest of all, is the great chinook….. for descriptions of salmon species see current B.C.Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Guide or website:
279. page 131. Several million sockeye...…..e.g. 4 - 24 million entered the Fraser River in peak years, with an escapement about 1.5 - 6 million according to
Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Fish Stocks of the Pacific Coast at www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca
280. page 132. Crabs, clams and cockles: … it will roam for up to 2 km (1 ml) a day, searching for clams… Glavin 2000.
281. page 132. The males will mate with females whose shells are still soft…Butler 2003.
282. page 132. One interesting sexual phenomenon..…. Glavin 2000.
283. page 132. ….a variety of sea shells… see e.g. Quayle 1960, Snively 1978 and Harbo 1997.
284. page 133. Mudflat snails are just one of many non-native crustaceans...... Quayle 1988.
285. page 133. ….. related to a native snail that lives in similar habitat in southern California….Quayle 1960.
286. page 133. [Purple varnish clam] first record at Semiahmoo in 1991… Merilees and Gillespie 1998; Marine Resources of Whatcom County www.whatcom-
287. page 133. The Japanese mussel also suddenly arrived…Merilees and Gillespie 1998.
288. page 134. The Insect World: “The bright wings of summer” …Roger Tory Peterson quoted in Tilden & Smith 1986.
289. page 135. The unique habitat of Burns Bog is home to many small butterflies… Ashton 1990, Hebda et al. 2000.
290. page 135.…..many are lost during programs to combat gypsy moth infestations… Brock & Kaufman 2003.
291. page 135. First flight records can track climate change......e.g. Brian Huntley and colleagues at Durham University, England www.butterfly-conservation.org
292. page 136. Dragonfly expert, Rex Kenner of Vancouver, has found about fifty species …Kenner 2000.
293. page 136. The earliest flying damselflies… Cannings 2002
294. page 136.……constantly patrolling at about 5 km/hr (2 mph) but able to accelerate to 60 km/hr (35 mph) in pursuit of a flying insect… Cannings 2002.
295. page 137. Ladybirds. xxxx
296. page 137. There are an astonishing 30 000 species of beetle in North America… White 1983
297. page 137 - 138. Carrion beetles (Silphidae), Ground beetles (Carabidae), rove beetles (Staphylinidae) Wood-boring beetles (Bupretidae) long-horned
beetles (Cerambycidae) Bark beetles (Scolytidae).
298. page 138. A long dry spell will send beetles into summer torpor…White 1983.
299. page 138.……Burns Bog during a 1999 ecological study …..Hebda et al. 2000.
300. page 139. Yellowjackets are wasps of the Vespula genus. Paper wasps belong to the Polistes genus
301. page 140. Spiders: various sources including Grass 1979.
302. page 140. Western black widow: Latrodectus hesperus, grass spider: Agelenidae sp., boreal cobweb spider: Steatoda borealis.
303. page 141. West Nile disease: www.dfw.state.or.us accessed 10/04/03
304. page 142. The GVRD has taken a precautionary approach.... talk by GVRD staff to Delta Naturalists, 2005.
305. page 143. Avian influenza: Catherine Murray, Rockefeller University, personal communication; Russell and Webster, 2005.
306. page 145. Wildflowers: All the Scotch broom… spread from just a few seeds planted by one man in Victoria ……this was Walter Colquhoun Grant, Pojar &
307. page 147. Native Trees: Literally dozens of other plants and animals depend on the Douglas-fir for habitat… B.C. Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection
pamphlet on coastal Douglas-fir ecosystem, Stewardship Series.
308. page 147……which may weigh as much as a metric tonne …. Hancock 2003.
309. page 147. Douglas-fir seeds are also eaten by deer mice, squirrels, shrews, wrens and chipmunks. Parish 1994.
310. page 148…. arbor vitae: the tree of life. Coniferous trees first received this name in the sixteenth century when some of Jacques Cartier’s men, stricken with
scurvy, learned from the Algonquins how to brew a vitamin C-rich beer from the fronds, thus saving their lives.
311. page 148. …….unique four thousand year old Pacific Northwest culture based on the western redcedar see for example Hilary Stewart’s book, Cedar.
312. page 148. Archibald Menzies… … Justice 2000.
313. page 150. Sometimes referred to as a “weed” tree, the red alder…see Grass 1998.
314. page 151 ……an estimated three million during their thirty year lifetime…according to the BC Provincial Museum, Victoria in a forest ecology display.
315. page 152. Ferns and Horsetails: much information from Cobb 1984.
316. page 153. There is some indication that [horsetails] did not arrive in the Boundary Bay area… Ladner 1979.
317. page 153.……as a polishing abrasive, because the cells contain silicon dioxide…. Pojar & MacKinnon 1994.
318. page 155. Grasses, Sedges and Rushes: “Sedges have edges and rushes are round, they grow by the water where willows abound”… traditional rhyme
recorded in Western Wetland Flora. Field office guide to plant species. www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource
319. page 155. The Coast Salish women gathered bundles in late summer…. Turner 2001.
320. page 156. Cattail… has many traditional Coast Salish uses ….Turner 2001.
321. page 156. Generations of babies were raised with diapers…. Turner 1998
322. page 156 – 157 Mosses: Scientific names: oregon beaked moss (Kindbergia oregana), cat-tail moss (Isothecium myosuroides),curly thatch moss
(Dicranoweisia cirrata) red roof moss (Ceratodon purpurea).
323. page 157 Nurse logs… information from Dr David Blevins, personal communication. Contrary to many people’s understanding nurse logs do not provide
nutrients so much as preventing damping off.
324. page 157. …. peat mosses, growing three to four metres (10 -13ft) deep …Biggs 1977.
325. page 158. ……it just keeps accumulating as thick layers of peat….more about sphagnum and other mosses in an undated pamphlet by Terry Taylor,
Mosses of the Richmond Nature Park.
326. page 158. The Coast Salish found many uses for mosses….Turner 2001.
327. page 159. Lichens: They come in four basic designs…DeWynter 2002. Lichen species: Terry Taylor’s undated pamphlet, Common Lichens of Richmond
Nature Park, describes some of the commoner species. I am indebted to Terry for showing me many interesting forest lichens in the Boundary Bay watershed. Other
lichen information from McCune & Geiser 1997.
328. page 159. According to a recent study in Italy…Purvis 2000. The study looked at 2425 measurements of lichen diversity at 662 locations and found a
reciprocal relationship between lichen diversity and lung cancer mortality in humans.
329. page 159. ….dust lichens…e.g. Lepraria sp.
330. page 160. Fungi: fungal symbiosis: information on ectomycorrhizae (those associating with conifers) in Swift et al. 2001.
331. page 160. Vancouver hospitals treat patients that are suffering toxic effects from poisonous mushrooms…Vancouver Mycological Society, www2.
332. page 161. Northern flying squirrel and Douglas’ squirrel consume the mushrooms.....Machmer and Steeger 1995.
333. page 162….. even live in water…e.g. some can be found in wood immersed even in salt water. Terry Taylor personal communication.
334. page 162. Wildlife Gardening: …..much useful information see Ashton 1990.
335. page 164 “There is no other site in Canada that supports the diversity and number of birds found in winter in the Fraser River delta.” Butler & Campbell
143. page 206 .... songbirds hit windows…… It is estimated that 100 million birds die this way every year across North America; many more birds die when they
become disoriented by bright artificial lights. Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP) at www.flap.org/flap.htm.
144. page 206 .... perish on overhead wires.... Many birds are killed or injured by flying into overhead wires, a phenomenon that has only been briefly been
studied in the Fraser Delta (Gartner Lee 1992a, and VPA various studies) but has shown high mortality rates in similar situations elsewhere on the continent,
(Baldessare and Bolen 1994). A number of great blue herons were killed on wires near the new colony at Roberts Bank in 2005 and wires along the port causeway on
Roberts Bank are a major problem for waterfowl and shorebirds. The Vancouver Port Authority and B.C. Hydro have experimented with visual distractors placed on
the wires. B.C. Hydro has also tried insulated guards on top of poles to prevent bald eagles being electrocuted when they extend their wings while sitting on pole tops.
145. page 206. commercial whaling once wiped out the humpback whale... Webb 1988.
146. page 206.... sandpipers have declined by 80% on Roberts Bank since 1994.... Canadian Wildlife Service personal communication.
|Annex Site for
A Nature Guide to
by Anne Murray
with photographs by