At-risk Birds.  Awareness. Conservation.

... in the Columbia Wetlands, British Columbia, Canada

There are more than 30 at-risk bird species that depend upon unique habitat values found in the Columbia Wetlands.
Join us to learn more and contribute to conservation projects that are making a difference.


About Us - The Artists

Artist's Biography's


Donna studied painting and Art History through a number of diverse venues both in Canada and abroad. She attended the University of Calgary, University of Oregon, and studied with the Bottega del Rinascincento in Rome and Umbria, Italy. The inspiration for her painting technique reflected a strong influence of style and textures found in crumbling plaster, frescos, tarnished metals and time worn paints. These are the elements of the style that she incorporated in her decorative arts career in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia for over 25 years. The use of vibrant or faded colours and surreal ambiance reflect the elements of nature with an exotic and striking quality. Her travels in France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Africa, Asia, Central America and the Arizona Desert inspired her work. Donna also served as a director of the White Rock Museum and Archives in White Rock, BC from 2013-2015. Her many duties included Children’s Art Exhibitions and Museum Archive Exhibitions plus seasonal displays in the Museum.  Her last series of paintings entitled “Birds at Risk and their Columbia Wetlands Habitat” was inspired through her interest in bird watching and her volunteer work with her daughter as part of the recent Columbia Wetlands Waterbird Survey and Columbia Valley Swallow Project.  The passion Donna had for birds and the environment proved to be the catalyst that launched this new painting focus. Tragically, Donna Mendes recently passed away on September 26, 2020 of breast cancer while living in Golden, British Columbia. Before she had passed away, Donna's hope was that this collaboration with her daughter Rachel could bring attention to the diversity and importance to the conservation of the Columbia Wetlands habitat.

Rachel Darvill has a passion for biodiversity conservation since she was a little girl and has been taking photographs in nature since she was a child. Rachel is an avid photographer of wildlife and wild landscapes. She completed her Master of Science degree in 2014 and she has been working as a professional biologist and environmental consultant since graduating in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology (Minor in Environmental Studies) from the University of Victoria, B.C. She is the (principle consultant at Goldeneye Ecological Services) and by working with several agencies such as Canadian Wildlife Service, Parks Canada, multiple universities, Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Partners and Wildsight, she has had extraordinary opportunities to study and help conserve the wildlife and ecosystems that she loves and photographs. From working on remote seabird research programs on Triangle Island and Haida Gwaii, an elephant project in Tanzania, grizzly bear research in Alaska and Banff, to aquatic plant and waterbird projects in the Columbia Wetlands, she has had ample opportunities to photograph the nature that she works to protect. Rachel currently works on habitat enhancement projects for at-risk species (swallows, turtles and more) and lives in Parson, BC with her family, where the Columbia Wetlands is their backyard. Recently, she developed and was the biologist for, the Columbia Wetlands Marsh Bird Monitoring Project and the Columbia Wetlands Waterbird Survey. She also sits as a Director on the Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Partners, Wildsight Golden and is on the Steering Committee for the Kootenay Conservation Program.

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Upper Columbia Swallow Habitat Enhancement Project

Contribute funds or purchase a beautiful art piece.  Funds raised go towards building a artificial nesting structures for at-risk barn swallows.

The Upper Columbia Swallow Habitat Enhancement Project (UCSHEP) is a five-year project (2021-2026) of Wildsight Golden.  The project is using a multifaceted approach to conserve and enhance habitat for two at-risk swallow species, Bank and Barn Swallows. Bank Swallow breeding habitat that has been lost will be restored, and artificial nesting structures will be built to expand and connect habitat in a region known to provide significant breeding habitat for an at-risk species facing a sharp population decline.

To learn more, click here and visit this website.


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Taking Action


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Ready to make an impact? Contact us to learn how we can begin working together to conserve at-risk birds.

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