SPES These Photos are For the Birds


Sunday, August 16th, 2015 — 10:31am PST
Add a Comment

SPESLogoFourLineThis post has been contributed by Liron Gertsman, Volunteer with the Stanley Park Ecology Society (“SPES”). I have been following SPES since I moved into the West End a decade ago and I have been a member for three years. I wanted to offer the team an opportunity to share their news, events, and work so I have created “SPES Saturday” where they contribute and share stories with my audience once a month.

These Photos are for the Birds

Have you ever wanted to soar with birds? When I was younger, I had a lot of dreams about flying like a bird. Now I’m 14, and since then I have learned to soar with birds in my own way. I’m an avid bird watcher and photographer, and since those dreams of mine, I have amassed a life list of 694 bird species from North and South America and the Middle East.

SPES-Birds
Surf scoters in Stanley Park. Photo: Liron Gertsman

How did I go from dreaming about birds to becoming the birder, environmentalist and photographer that I am today? I owe a lot of my initial birding knowledge to the knowledgeable people at the Stanley Park Ecology Society. They accepted me, a 10 year old volunteer, on their monthly bird counts. At the time, I was what I would call a bird enthusiast. I loved bird watching, and thought I really knew my birds. However, what I learned about birds and nature from the people at SPES didn’t even compare to what I knew before. I was transformed from an enthusiastic little boy to a knowledgeable naturalist.

SPES-Birds2
Pelagic cormorant in Stanley Park. Photo: Liron Gertsman

For instance, did you know that the waters of English Bay and Burrard Inlet surrounding Stanley Park are a critical wintering site for thousands of seabirds, particularly surf scoters? Every winter, peaking in late November, these birds can be seen numbering in the thousands along the Stanley Park Seawall. With their striking sturdy beaks, these sea ducks yank blue mussels from the Park’s rocky shores.

My photo of these birds – taken as I prepared to lead a SPES bird walk – won me a place in the Audubon 2015 Photo Awards Top 100 this past spring. By volunteering on the SPES monthly bird counts over the years (and now leading walks for SPES), I have not only seen thousands of birds, but I’ve also learned to identify every bird in the park by their sound.

SPES-Birds3
Green-breasted mango, Costa Rica. Photo: Liron Gertsman

This August, I’m having an exhibit in downtown Vancouver’s Pendulum Gallery, located at 885 West Georgia Street. Because of what SPES has done for me, I think this gallery is an awesome way to give back. The exhibit, Soaring with Birds, is a fundraiser for SPES.

Drop in anytime from August 10-22, and feel free to inquire about purchasing my work to benefit SPES, or click here to donate directly to their Stanley Park conservation programs. Admission is free, and this exhibit will showcase 40 images of my best bird photography.

For a preview, check out my website at lironsnaturephotography.com, or give my Facebook page a like. I hope to meet many of you at the gallery, from August 10-22!

About the Guest Author:


This post has been contributed by Liron Gertsman on behalf of the Stanley Park Ecology Society. If you want to support a non-profit organization that makes a difference for wildlife and people in Stanley Park, please make a donation or become a member of SPES. For more information visit the Stanley Park Ecology Society website. Follow SPES on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.

Current contests on Miss604.com

  • Enter here to win tickets to see the Barra MacNeils in North Van (until Nov 17)
  • Enter here to win a $100 gift card for Potters Christmas Store (until Nov 23)
  • Enter here to win tickets to see Ed the Sock's War on Stupid tour (until Nov 22)
  • Enter here to win a $50 Indigo gift card (until Nov 17)
  • Enter here to win tickets to A Charlie Brown Holiday Double Bill (until Nov 19)
  • Enter here to win a Date Night to Akram Khan’s Chotto Desh plus $50 for dinner at Silk Vancouver (until Nov 18)
  • View a complete list of contests »

Comments are closed.

next »
5 Best Metro Vancouver Beaches for Sunsets
« previously
Pender Harbour Jazz Festival
Big Sisters