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Join in Crowsnest Christmas Bird Count

Sunday, 24 December 2017. Posted in Shootin' the Breeze

Join in Crowsnest Christmas Bird Count
Join in Crowsnest Christmas Bird Count

Submitted by Crowsnest Conservation Society

Another Christmas Bird Count season has arrived. Between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5, tens of thousands of bird and winter enthusiasts are rallying to count millions of birds across the continent as part of the 118th year of this wildlife survey.

On Jan. 2, participants in Crowsnest Pass will take part in this fun winter tradition, many rising before dawn, with some counting birds until sunset.

Each year, Bird Studies Canada and the National Audubon Society help co-ordinate and support the efforts of more than 2,500 counts throughout the Western Hemisphere. Christmas counts are run across Canada and the United States, as well as in Latin America, the Caribbean, and some Pacific Islands.

Data collected during the Crowsnest Pass count include details on the number of birds of each species seen or heard within a prescribed location. Surveying this area year after year contributes valuable long-term information on how winter birds are faring, both in your locale and across the country.

Novice or experienced, the Christmas Bird Count is for everyone. Whether you like exploring forests, fields and waters in search of lingering migrants, or prefer counting feeder birds from your window with a warm mug in hand, there are diverse opportunities for participation.

No matter how you contribute, all Christmas Bird Count observations are used to study the health of winter bird populations over time and guide conservation strategies to help birds and their habitats.

“Every Christmas Bird Count participant is an important part of this valuable project for birds,” says Liz Purves of Bird Studies Canada. “Whether you participate for bird conservation, for some friendly birding competition, or for an excuse to get outside in the winter, your efforts are meaningful for birds.”

The skills and dedication of thousands of volunteer citizen scientists harnessed during the count produce incredible results that professional scientists and wildlife biologists could never achieve alone.

During last year’s 447 counts across the country, over three million birds of 278 species were counted by 14,000 participants. Counts were conducted across diverse habitat types in each of Canada’s provinces and territories — from coast to coast to coast.

The Christmas Bird Count took root over a century ago when 27 birders in 25 localities from Ontario to California, led by ornithologist Frank Chapman, proposed a conservation-oriented alternative to the traditional “side hunt,” a Christmas Day competition to hunt the most birds and small mammals.

This effort to identify, count and record all the birds found on Christmas Day 1900 has turned into one of North America’s longest-running wildlife monitoring programs.

For more information about the Christmas Bird Count, visit www.birdscanada.org/volunteer/cbc.