Hummingbird Sit

Do you have nature-connection or bird language training? 


In spring 2021 the Community Nest Finding Network (CNFN) stopped tarsands pipeline construction in Burnaby by locating, documenting and thus legally defending a hummingbird nest. It was Nature School Teachers primarily - those trained in Deer Ears, Owl Eyes, and Fox Walking who were the most successful in finding nests (From Coyote Mentoring & Bird Language popularized by John Young). You and your students are the ones with the skills to do this work!

There are several forested areas in Burnaby that are on the chopping block this spring as part of the 1308 trees that Trans Mountain plans to cut down to build their tarsands pipeline. As of Jan 30, 2022 many Anna's Hummingbirds have already built nests are are sitting on eggs. 

Help us protect these nests, along with the urban trees that support all wild life in our City. For many of us at Protect the Planet (the parent org for CNFN) our overall goal is to stop expansion of the Canadian tarsands. - for its risks to a liveable future.

image credit: S.S.Royer

What you will do:

  • Establish a sit spot to observe hummingbird behaviour at a specific site in Burnaby. Location: by transit is a 6 minute walk from skytrain station. Near Central Valley Greenway bike route. Free car parking on site. The location is in a public space, and more info will be provided to you.
  • You set your own schedule for when it is convenient for you, but time is of the essence and your sit spot should start ASAP. 
  • Sit still and look for female hummingbirds and their nests. There are at least 2 males hummingbirds already on the territory. Patience in one spot is what will most often yield results. 
  • Keep thorough field notes (template provided - super specialized knowledge NOT required, just things like date, time, weather, bird observations like '2 males taking turns singing in the blackberries and dive-bombing each other'). 
  • Provide brief reports to CNFN immediately following each sit.

What skills and experience you'll bring:

  • Bird Language and/or Nature Connection training & experience.
  • High degree of sensitivity to your impact on birds & wild creatures - for example you need to understand or be sensitive to bird alarms and when birds are telling you you are too close. 
  • Calm, sensitive, fit, able to focus for extended periods, as needed.
  • Experience with camouflage an asset (neutral, quiet clothing for example).
  • Super Bonus: last minute availability from time to time, as needed
  • Binoculars, a bird camera, GPS capability an asset but NOT essential.
  • A passion for justice and a liveable future.

Start Date Immediate. We will provide an onsite orientation as well as detailed background information so you will understand what you are looking for. The female Anna's Hummingbirds are not shy about where their nests are located and if you know what to listen and look for. Hearing is by far our number one sense for this work.

Warning: This site is a forested area that we believe will be destroyed in the next 2 months. This work can bring grief - especially once you open up to the life that is currently thriving. We have several circles of people who gather to process & support each other through this important and sometimes sad work, and will be happy to include you in these networks. 

How to Apply:

Please send us a super brief letter outlining your relevant experience and why you want to be involved with CNFN, including your general availability in the next 4 weeks - and email it to CommunityNestFindingNetwork -AT- with the words Hummingbird Sit in the subject line. This is a skilled Volunteer opportunity. We look forward to hearing from you.