Crowsnest Pass bird count con­trib­uted to na­tional count

Prairie Post (West Edition) - - Fort Macleod / Cardston - BY HEATHER CAMERON

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.”

File photo

Crowsnest Pass bird watch­ing is pop­u­lar and be­ing hap­pen­ing for years.

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