Homeless in Vancouver: Vancouver Bird Week attracts all sorts, I guess

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      From the moment on Monday afternoon (May 4) that I saw the flash of orange and black in some greenery in front of a Burrard Street apartment building, I wanted to photograph the bird owning that plumage in the worst possible way.

      And, given the poor quality of the photos, it appears that I succeeded.

      Thanks or no thanks, depending how you look at it, to the bird. It just wouldn’t sit still. It actually seemed camera-shy; almost as though it didn’t want to be caught on camera for some reason.

      But why would a bird deliberately avoid being photographed?

      Perhaps because it’s in our country illegally!

      Call me an ornitho-xenophobic if you must

      Stanley Q. Woodvine

      I’m positive that the bird I photographed in Vancouver Monday was an American robin (a Turdus migratorius, if you’ll pardon my Latin).

      Obviously this Yankee robin is in the wrong country—this being Canada and all, but I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. Either it’s gotten its directions wrong and thinks this is Vancouver, Washington (it happens), or it’s here to attend Vancouver Bird Week 2015, a seven- to nine-day affair of public events designed to raise awareness that we have birds in the city of Vancouver, beyond just the pigeons, crows and seagulls that we all know about.

      Quite possibly this robin has been invited to sing at the closing ceremonies.

      Strictly speaking, Vancouver Bird Week 2015 wraps up on May 9 but in true laid-back West Coast fashion, part of the week—a Vancouver Bird Strategy exhibition—happens May 11 and 12.

      After that, if I still see this American bird illegally at work in the Fairview neighbourhood—taking worms from deserving, tax-paying Canadian robins—then I may just be forced to take matters into my own hands and call Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

      Stanley Q. Woodvine
      Stanley Q. Woodvine is a homeless resident of Vancouver who has worked in the past as an illustrator, graphic designer, and writer. Follow Stanley on Twitter at @sqwabb.