Saskatchewan Birds in Paraguay

A Saskatchewan Meadowlark - in Paraguay's Urutau magazine.
A Saskatchewan Meadowlark – in Paraguay’s Urutau magazine.

Recently, I shared a series of my photographs of Saskatchewan birds with Dr. Alberto Yanosky, the biologist who heads BirdLife International affiliate, Guyra Paraguay.

The photos were to illustrate Dr. Yanosky’s article about his visit to Saskatchewan, the importance of protecting biodiversity and habitat, and the migratory birds shared by our two countries, Canada and Paraguay.

“We say that they decided to breed here, but they are our birds, that we lend them to you,” he explained when I met him in June.

“And you think that it is on the other side, that they are your birds, and they go south to avoid winter here.”

Shared birds. It continues to amaze me that our Prairie birds travel that far.

And what fun to receive an e-mailed copy of the July 2013 issue of Urutau Electrónico featuring the Alberto Yanosky / Shelley Banks collaboration!

Conservationists and Horned Lark
and Horned Lark

The first page of our article, at top, features my photograph of a Western Meadowlark on a fence post along a quiet rural Saskatchewan road. (There is a slough in the background, creating that soft blue haze.)

Next, at right, my picture of a (Saskatchewan) Horned Lark and a shot of the group that visited Saskatchewan pastures in June 2013. And finally, below, my (Saskatchewan — or might these really all be Paraguayan???) photographs of an Upland Sandpiper and Barn Swallow  — and BirdLife International birdwatchers,  Margaret Atwood, Graeme Gibson, Ian Davidson, Alberto Yanosky, and others. (With Yanosky’s text along the way…)

During the visit, we saw more than 90 bird species, including several that travel between Saskatchewan and Paraguay: the Common Nighthawk – añapero boreal en español – (Chordeiles minor); the Upland Sandpiper – batitú- (Bartramia longicauda); the Bobolink – charlatán – (Dolichonyx oryziborus); and Wilson’s Phalarope – falaropo tricolor – (Phalaropus tricolor).

Page Three of the Urutau article
Upland Sandpiper
Margaret Atwood, Graeme Gibson, Alberto Yanosky and others,
Barn Swallow

Other species in common mentioned in the article include Barn Swallows -golondrina tijerita – (Hirundo rustica), Grasshopper Sparrows – cachilo ceja amarilla – (Ammodramus humenalis), Eastern Kingbirds – suirirí boreal – (Tyrannus tyrannus), and Purple Martins – golondrina purpúrea – (Progne subis). (Sí, puedo leer español…) 

Yanosky, recently named the 2013 Latin American winner of the National Geographic Society/Buffett Award for Leadership in Conservation, was in Saskatchewan for the June Prairie Passages Tour of our publicly owned grasslands.

For more on that visit, see My Braid and Margaret Atwood, pictures on my LatitudeDrifts blog, or bird photos on my Prairie Nature blog.

You can also read the entire current issue of Urutau Electrónico — along with other issues — on Guyra Paraguay’s site,, to learn more about birds and habitat conservation in Paraguay. (Click Publicaciones, then you’ll find the July 2013 edition of Urutau Electrónico. Yes, it’s all in Spanish — a bonus! Language practice!)

Published by

Shelley Banks

Writer, editor, photographer.