Cortes Island Christmas Bird Count

Cortes Island Christmas Bird Count

When you talk about Cortes Island’s population, most of us think of humans but there is an even larger avian population. The Cortes museum has been taking an annual Christmas Bird Count since 2001. There were 38 participants this year. Most were in five groups, but there were also a number of people who reported birds visiting feeders, or parts of the island not on the established routes.  2018 Bird Count – Courtesy Cortes Island Museum And Archives Cortes Currents: Roy L Hales interviewing Laurel Bohart Last December’s Bird Count They counted 3,149 birds from 65 species, which is about average. When I inquired about interviewing someone, the museum suggested I contact Laurel Bohart, who led the team in Squirrel Cove. “The reason we do a winter bird count is these are residents, and this gives us a better understanding and idea of the resident bird populations. What we did see, and I didn’t see it, but it was seen near Mansons Lagoon and Hollyhock: was Greater Yellowlegs. This is a shorebird, related to gulls … and they’re very rare. They shouldn’t even be here,” she said.  2018 Bird Count – Courtesy Cortes Island Museum And Archives Human Impacts On Bird Population One of the most intriguing aspects of Laurel Bohart’s analysis of the changing populations is the degree to which non-climate change related human activities are believed to be the cause:  The Canada Goose population is in decline because of the egg shaking program (you shake the egg to separate the yolk from the white, so an embryo can’t form). Barn swallows are disappearing because we have fewer barns, less insects, and they...
Democracy Through Town Meetings

Democracy Through Town Meetings

Recent events suggest that the Regional District system does not always work well in a remote island like Cortes. Some say, it is time to Cortexit. Our Regional Director says we should work within the existing system, it would be very expensive for a community this small to go it alone. She is currently wondering how a community council system would work on Cortes Island. “A minority of very active voices has been very effective at undermining my credibility at the Regional District, but if what I brought to the district was backed by this community council it would be harder to marginalize.” In this morning’s program we go to Cambridge, Vermont, to explore how an even more democratic system of government would work here. For more than two centuries, the local authorities have been carrying out the decisions made at an annual town meeting that everyone in Cambridge can attend.. Cortes Currents broadcast Feb 1st (1 PM), 4th (5 PM) & 5th (9 AM): Roy Hales interviews George Putnam & Marguerite Ladd about a local government based on town meetings Cortes Island is about 130 sq km (50 sq mi) in extent and has a population of about 1,000. The town of Cambridge, Vermont, spreads out over 165 sq km (64 sq mi) and has a population of just under 4,000. Both communities are embedded in larger political entities that make life ‘interesting’ for us. Town Meetings Though the meeting only lasts a day, this is where the town’s annual budget is passed and all major decisions are made. “When you are in town meeting, that is direct...
Greg Osoba On Music & Radio

Greg Osoba On Music & Radio

Originally Published on the ECOreport (Now Cortes Currents) He helped shape Cortes Radio almost since the beginning. as one of the station’s early Presidents, as a senior producer of our Deep Roots Initiative and most Fridays he hosts the Lunchtime Locomotion. In addition to this, he is a member of Cortes Island’s original rock quartet and more recently Back Eddy and the Procrastinators. In this morning’s interview, I asked Greg Osaba to tell us his story. In the podcast, Greg Osaba talks about … The radio station at Seneca College, in Ontario His eight years as a broadcast journalist in Toronto, Edmonton & Vancouver: in the newsroom and as host of “Bookshelf” Interviewing Guy Dauncey; Premier Peter Lougheed; Joe Clark; Wayne Gretsky … Asking tough questions of politicians vs interviewing a grieving family Ska, the precursor of Reggae How prerecording takes the soul out of music Gordy & Zoe Ryan from Babatunde Olatunji’s Drums of Passion; Island Rythm; Six Foot Johnson; Back Eddy and the Procrastinators When Gregor Robertson lived on Cortes Island, his first campaign (as an NDP MLA) The art of creating space, in music and life Falling in love with Cortes Island Linnaea Farm, Hollyhock, Rex Weyler as a mentor in writing, Getting involved with Cortes Radio, The Friday Lunchtime Locomotion with Nat king Cono   “There is something to that adage 10 years or 10,000 hours, because something starts to happen after that point. Once you put in your time, what starts to happen I’ve found - and other musicians I know who are experienced concur with this - is that you become competent  …....
Solution For Colony Collapse Disorder

Solution For Colony Collapse Disorder

Originally Published on Cortes Currents.ca There was an upside to this summer’s long ferry waits at the Whaletown terminal on Cortes island. One of North America’s leading fungi experts, Paul Stamets, was in the car in front of me.  While we were waiting for a second ferry, he told me about his discovery a solution for colony collapse disorder.  Wild Bees Are Infected “I’ve been working with the USDA, the United States Department of Agriculture, and Washington State University. Dr Jay Evans, of the USDA, told me has not seen a virus free bee in ten years. Wild bees are infected with viruses, but not ALL wild bees with Deformed Wing Virus. The concern is that they will soon will be from domesticated honey bees. Why? Well, when the honey bees visit a flower they leave viral particles on the flower and so when wild bees come to the same flower they pick up the viral particle. So now this virus has spread all over, even yellow jackets have been found to carry the deformed wing virus.” “ … We are facing a tremendous threat to our world-wide food security … It’s getting worse. This is the proverbial canary in the coal mine. The loss of honey bees is one factor for commercial implications, but most people don’t realize that wild bees, bumble bees and other wild bees, give farmers approximately 80% of their benefits. [This] pollination comes from wild bees, not honey bees … The loss of wild bees is even more dramatic, but much harder to calculate.” The Leading Cause of Colony Collapse “ … When colony collapse...
Cortes Island's Future

Cortes Island's Future

The post that follows is contains personal opinions not necessarily endorsed by the Cortes Radio Society, Board, staff, volunteers or membership. Originally Published on Cortes Currents By the time you hear this, everyone on Cortes Island will have received a newsletter from their Regional Director (or read it on the Tideline). I found it left me with more questions than answers. So I asked Noba Anderson to explain her vision for Cortes Island’s political future. A Cortes Community Council “I want to built community council, really simply put. City has a mayor and council. There is a group of people that are elected by the community to discuss matters of interest to the community and make decisions that pertain to the community and communicate the city’s will to outside agencies. First Nations, equally, have a chief and council. There’s a formalized, recognized, legitimate structure that is more than sending one person two ferry rides away to sit with twelve other reps,” says Director Anderson. The way the SRD functions: “I am inherently a minority and structurally, we don’t know things about each other, we don’t know each other’s communities – even with the best intentions, which aren’t necessarily always there.” “So I’m interested in building something here that is complementary to the Regional District structure and certainly in no way would supersede or replace it. Over time as, I believe, our systems will inevitably fray with the pressures of climate change, we will have this system to really rely on here.” “This is the inside of the Hornby Island Co-op, the largest store on the island.” – by Daryl Mitchell via Flickr...