This year’s Christmas Bird Count will be held Dec. 16 in Greater Trail. Geri Coe photo

Join the annual Christmas Bird Count

Greater Trail count will be held Dec. 16

Amateur ornithologists, your annual challenge is just around the corner.

As Christmas approaches, another annual ritual is set to take place throughout the Western Hemisphere with the 118th edition of the annual Christmas Bird Count.

Between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5, tens of thousands of bird and winter enthusiasts will rally together to count millions of birds across the continent as part of the 118th year of this long-running wildlife survey.

Each year, Bird Studies Canada and the National Audubon Society help coordinate and support the efforts of more than 2,500 counts throughout the Western Hemisphere. Christmas Bird Counts are run across Canada and the United States, as well as in Latin America, the Caribbean, and some Pacific Islands.

Locally, the region’s bird count will be held on Dec. 16.

The Trail region covers all the way from Walmart in Waneta to Tadanac; Warfield also includes Rivervale; Beaver Valley covers much of Area A.

If you want to take part, the first step is to contact a coordinator in your region.

Arnold By (250-368-3068) coordinates the Rivervale-Warfield area and compiles the numbers for the region. Shirley Coffin (250-364-0339) covers Trail, Don McNeill (250-367-6528) covers Beaver Valley and Linda Szymkowiak covers the Rossland area.

“I welcome anyone who wants to participate,” said Szymkowiak. “It’s anytime from dawn to dusk.

“If they note the species and count the number of that species. If they’re doing it at their feeder, then it is the greatest number of the species seen at one time. You don’t keep adding on.

“If you’re going for a walk, of course, it would be a cumulative because they are moving out of the area.

“If they are going for a walk, we need to know the area they walked, the distance and the amount of time they put in.”

By added it’s important to contact one of the coordinators so they can map out areas for counting.

“We don’t want double counts,” said By. “Those people would direct you to a place where nobody is counting.”

He added it’s important to have a handbook for bird watching to help identify the species.

As for the time commitment required for counting, that depends on a few factors, he said.

“It depends on the area and your enthusiasm,” said By.

“If it’s at a feeder, maybe an hour, but if you’re doing some walking it can take you longer. Again it depends on the enthusiasm of the people involved and how knowledgeable they are.”

Coffin said she’s always happy to get more volunteers and, if contacted, can help ensure there aren’t people doing the count in the same location. She added for those that can’t get out, they can do it from their own homes.

“They can also do a bird count at their feeders,” she added. “Then call me with the count.”

By acknowledged that people are more enthusiastic about the bird count in rural areas as opposed to the city.

“We have more trouble getting people in the cities, even in Warfield.”

Data collected during the counts include details on the number of birds of each species seen or heard within a local 24-km diameter circle. Surveying this circle year-after-year contributes valuable long-term information on how winter birds are faring, both in your locale and across the country.

Novice or experienced, the Christmas Bird Count is for everyone. Whether you like exploring forests, fields, and waters in search of lingering migrants, or prefer counting feeder birds from your window with a warm mug in hand, the Christmas Bird Count offers diverse opportunities for participation.

No matter how you contribute, all Christmas Bird Count observations are used to study the health of winter bird populations over time and guide conservation strategies to help birds and their habitats.

“Every Christmas Bird Count participant is an important part of this valuable project for birds,” says Liz Purves, Bird Studies Canada’s Christmas Bird Count Coordinator.

“Whether you participate for bird conservation, for some friendly birding competition, or for an excuse to get outside in the winter, your efforts are meaningful for birds.”

The skills and dedication of thousands of volunteer Citizen Scientists harnessed during the Christmas Bird Count achieve incredible results that professional scientists and wildlife biologists could never accomplish alone.

During last year’s count in Canada, over 3 million birds of 278 species were counted by 14,000 participants in 447 counts across the country. Counts were conducted across diverse habitat types in each of Canada’s provinces and territories – from coast to coast to coast!

The Christmas Bird Count took root over a century ago when 27 birders in 25 localities from Toronto, Ontario to Pacific Grove, California, led by ornithologist Frank Chapman, proposed a conservation-oriented alternative to the traditional ‘side hunt,’ a Christmas Day competition to hunt the most birds and small mammals.

This alternative initiative to identify, count, and record all the birds founded on Christmas Day 1900 has turned into one of North America’s longest-running wildlife monitoring programs.

For more information about the Christmas Bird Count, or to find the location of additional counts, visit Bird Studies Canada’s website at www.birdscanada.org/volunteer/cbc.

With files from Black Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New leader at Habitat Southeast B.C.

Elaine Pura is taking over the role of executive director, effective Oct. 1

Two new COVID-19 cases announced in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region is at 533

Selkirk College international students get helping hands from Korean moms

We Care K-Moms have been shopping and delivering food to new arrivals

Trail native, Jake Lucchini, signs with Canadiens

Former Smoke Eater captain, Jake Lucchini, signs one-year, two-way deal with Montreal Canadiens

Traffic change in Trail on Wednesday

Workers are performing a required inspection of the Victoria Street Bridge lighting

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

FINLAYSON: COVID-related job losses concentrated in urban areas… especially Metro Vancouver

The biggest job losses, in absolute terms, have been in Metro Vancouver

6 puppies rescued in mass seizure on Princeton farm die from illness: BC SPCA

Of the 97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized, most of the puppies suffered from parvo

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

U.S. boater fined $1,000 for violation of Quarantine Act

49-year-old man entered Canada to visit girlfriend in Surrey

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

Most Read