Christ­mas bird count

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page -

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.

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