Ron Wilson shared this photo of a plethora of pigeons lined up above the Canada flag mural by Jubilee Park. (Ron Wilson photo)

Christmas Bird Count in Greater Trail, Sunday

Annual event allows bird enthusiasts to tabulate the variety of species of birds in the region

A fresh blanket of snow is good news as the annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) for the Rossland-Warfield region is set to fly on Sunday.

The annual event allows bird enthusiasts to tabulate the variety of species of birds in a local area and register their total with a regional compiler.

Linda Szymkowiak, a compiler in Rossland, said this time of year, especially with fresh snow, makes it easier to count the birds.

“Many of the winter birds can be more easily seen at feeders.,” she explained. “There are a lot fewer species to keep track of, (30-35 species is usual for Rossland in the winter). Also there is less foliage obstructing your view.”

For Warfield-Rossland bird counters, they can share their total with Szymkowiak at 250-362-7107.

Last year, the count was held on a sunny day and a total of 22 species were spotted and a combined total of 515 birds compiled for the Warfield-Rossland region.

However, like last year, so far there is no volunteer compiler for the Trail-Beaver Valley region.

“If there is anyone with experience in compiling a Christmas bird count willing to come forward they can contact Bird Studies Canada to register,” said Szymkowiak.

Bird watching and counting can be as easy as watching a feeder hung in your garden, Szymkowiak says.

“A bird identification book and a pair of binoculars are all that is needed,” she previously explained to the Trail Times. “There are apps for your phone and many websites that can help with identification and increase your understanding of birds and their importance in our environment.”

The top ten birds, those most likely to be seen at a feeder or in the neighbourhood, include the black-capped chickadee, dark-eyed junco, red-breasted nuthatch, northern flicker, steller’s jay, house finch, song sparrow, American goldfinch, American crow in Warfield and common raven in Rossland.

The CBC is a census of birds in the Western Hemisphere, performed annually in the winter by volunteer birdwatchers. Administered by the National Audubon Society, the CBC is the longest-running Citizen Science survey in the world that provides population data for use in science, especially conservation biology.

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