Crowsnest Pass bird count contributed to national count
The Crowsnest Conservation Society's 2018 Christmas Bird Count took place Jan. 2 throughout the municipality of Crowsnest Pass.
“The idea of the Christmas Bird Count started years ago, an activity called the Christmas Bird Hunt existed where people would essentially count the birds by killing them,” said Merilyn Liddell, Chair of the Crowsnest Conservation Society Birding Committee. “Someone eventually got the idea that the birds should not be killed, but that the birds should be simply looked at and counted.”
The morning to early afternoon bird count invites people to get outside and enjoy nature and keep track of the number of birds out there. According to the Crowsnest Conservation Society, the Christmas Bird Count came to fruition a century ago when ornithologist Frank Chapman, proposed the bird count and the conservation-inspired event has been a tradition since Christmas Day 1900.
“People are interested in nature and birds are disappearing, so we have to ask ourselves ‘is there something wrong with the environment?” Liddell said. “It’s about gathering that information.”
Since early December, nature lovers were invited via social media and local communication methods to come participate in the count by joining a count group or reporting about the birds in the area to the Crowsnest Conservation Society by emailing or phoning the Society.
Liddell says that the bird count has grown over the years and has grown to a group of over 20 people. Adds that the count is done at times where the chances of drawing lots of birders from multiple areas to the event is high.
The Crowsnest Conservation Society said that during last year’s Canada-wide count, over 3 million birds of 278 species were counted by 14,000 participants in 447 counts across the country during last year’s count.
“The Bird Count is an activity is a nice event and is important to continue doing because we can get more numbers in terms of bird species that are out there due to experienced birders knowing the different sounds that different birds make,” Liddell said. “It’s also nice to be outside and with the people because while we learn, we’re also getting exercise and fresh air.”
Crowsnest Pass bird watching is popular and being happening for years.