Christmas bird count
Avian enthusiasts will get out the binoculars and guides Friday as they begin the annual Christmas Bird Count that will run from December 14 to January 5.
Christine Brunet, of the Vankleek Hill and District Nature Society, is the coordinator of the outing in this region, which will encompass a territory that includes Vankleek Hill, Alfred, Casselman, the Larose Forest and Montebello. E-mail her at [email protected] for more details.
The Christmas Bird Count began in 1900, and today it is North America’s longest-running wildlife census. The one-day bird census is conducted by volunteers of all ages and skill levels. Everyone is welcome to attend free of charge. Ontario Nature member groups are organizing at least 80 counts in the province this season. Visit the Ontario Nature website (ontarionature.org/cbc) to find a count near you. For a comprehensive list of counts happening in Canada, visit the Bird Studies Canada website (bsc-eoc.org/volunteer/cbc)
Always fun, even when it’s chilly, every volunteer who braves the elements to take part in a count contributes to the study and conservation of birds. Scientists use the data collected to monitor the health and status of resident and migratory birds over time, and to develop conservation strategies for species in decline and their habitats.
The Christmas Bird Count also teaches citizen scientists about the myriad bird species that live in and migrate through their communities.
Last year, more than 14,000 Canadians participated in over 450 Christmas Bird Counts across the country.