Other People

The Mystery of the Birds Deepens

On Saturday, I pointed out that the birds and bears are absent from the north end of Okanagan Lake. About a hundred miles to the south, it is a different story:

Elderberries stripped bare in Okanagan FallsElderberries in Okanagan Falls

Five minutes after the waxwings stopped by

It seems a bit counterintuitive: up north, the landscape is largely wild, yet there are no birds. Down south, the landscape is largely built up, yet there are birds. Perhaps the story goes a bit like this:

Deer Grazing in Alfalfa Field in Okanagan FallsDeer Grazing in the Shadow of Lost Water

First Thanksgiving, 2011

Perhaps the lack of birds up north is the result of most of the free water of the valley being channelled into urban and suburban uses, leaving little to sustain a diverse landscape in the hills that can support a population of birds through the summer drought into Autumn’s plenty. What looks like green abundance in the photograph above, might actually be the signature of a process that is turning a valley that was never a desert into one.

Next: Water water water.

Categories: Other People, Water

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