Wildlife Calendars

A colourful collection of photos showing the diversity of UBC Okanagan’s campus wildlife is back by popular demand.

2020 Birds and Insects of the Okanagan Calendars are now available.

Birds of the UBC Okanagan Campus Cover

Birds of the UBC Okanagan Campus Cover

Get Your Calendar

  • Proceeds support: undergraduate education, offsetting costs for such things as lab supplies and printing for students involved in research projects
  • Cost: $20
  • Where to buy: UBC Okanagan Bookstore or from Associate Professor Bob Lalonde, Professor Ian Walker, Associate Professor Blythe Nilson, or Senior Department Assistant Barb Lucente.

About the Calendar

The limited edition Birds of the UBC Okanagan Campus 2020 and Insects of the UBC Okanagan Campus 2020 wall calendars were created by a trio of camera-wielding biology professors in the Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science. Proceeds go toward undergraduate education.

The calendars are a labour of love, says contributor Associate Professor Bob Lalonde.

“We are always thrilled to be able to combine natural history and photography into a fundraising activity that benefits our students,” says Lalonde, adding that the Bird Calendar (which is now in its sixth year) has been so popular, they have now added an Insect Calendar.

Birds of the UBC Okanagan Campus 2020 calendar shows a vast array of the winged ones seen across campus—all 516 acres (209 hectares) of it. That includes photos of Bluebirds, American Avocets and Yellowheaded Blackbirds.

The new Insects of the UBC Okanagan Campus shows off some of the insect species that appear during the spring and summer on the campus, including Interior BC specialities such as Stella Orangetip Butterflies, beautiful bees such as the Metallic Green Sweat Bee and the diversity of pollinators that now show up at UBC Okanagan’s Pollinator-friendly gardens.


Behind the Scenes — how it’s shot and by whom

Equipped for Avifauna

If you want to capture a rare sighting of sandhill cranes at Robert Lake, you need patience, timing, and the right gear. Here’s the go-to photo equipment used by UBC biology professors Bob Lalonde, Blythe Nilson and Ian Walker when they go birding:


Cicada expanding its wings

Bob’s photo of a Cicada expanding its wings is a springtime feature of the Pine Trail. The Campus hosts two species of these noisy insects. They will spend up to a decade underground before coming to the surface to look for a mate and then die.

Uses a Canon EOS digital rebel, Canon 400mm f5.6 L series lens, and monopod. This setup sets a good compromise between quality and portability, he says. “The L series lenses are all excellent and the 400 mm is one of the most affordable. Digital rebel cameras are not full-frame, but the sensor is excellent and the smaller size provides an added ‘crop factor’ that turns a 400 mm lens into a 560 mm lens. There are more expensive and sharper alternatives, but none of them are as light and handy!”

American Avocet going into a "broken-wing" display

Ian’s photo of the American Avocet going into a “broken-wing” display is pretty good evidence that these spectacular birds are attempting to breed on Robert’s Lake! Robert Lake and the adjoining landfill are one of the few places in British Columbia that these birds breed, making Robert Lake a Mecca for birders!

Principally uses a Nikon D5000 camera body equipped with a Sigma 150-500 mm f/5-6.3 lens. The lens incorporates auto-focus and vibration reduction, and is much less expensive than any comparable Nikon lenses, he says. “This kit provides somewhat greater magnification, but it is distinctly heavier and bulkier than Lalonde’s setup. Few people will have my tolerance for lugging this lens all day in the field.”

Adult Bald Eagle

Blythe’s photo of an adult Bald Eagle shows a common sight on the Okanagan Campus for those willing to take a walk along the Pine Trail to the Conservation Area next to the Municipal Landfill. Eagles nest here every year!

Uses a Canon Rebel T1i with a Canon 100-400 L series Mark II lens.