Count birds in to help them out

The 113th annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count is being conducted in Kelowna this Saturday and you're invited to participate.

If watching birds holds any interest for you, join in the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Council Sat., Dec. 15 either by joining a field group or watching them in your backyard and reporting in.

Organized by Chris Charlesworth in the Kelowna area, the day’s efforts will begin pre-dawn with some owling by avid members of the Central Okanagan Naturalists’ Club’s birding group.

It will continue after daybreak with a number of groups, probably 50 people or so, organized to cover the entire area during the day.

Charlesworth says the count circle, 24 kilometres centred at Highway 97 and Ellis Street, extends from Blue Grouse Mountain in the northwest to the south end of Ellison Lake in the northeast, and from Gallagher’s Canyon in the southeast to Powers Creek in West Kelowna in the southwest.

This year, they’re confident they will be able to include some Snowy Owls, since a number of them have been spotted in this area due to a cyclical shortage of the small mammals they feed on in northern areas.

Many of the big birds are nearly starving because of the lack of their normal feed and they’ve had to migrate south to search for better pickings.

Most years, Charlesworth says, they’re lucky to count one or two during the Christmas Bird Count.

There’s also a Double-crested Cormorant hanging around the Bennett Bridge, a species that’s rarely spotted in the Okanagan, particularly during the dead of winter, he noted, so they’re hoping to spot it on count day.

Blue Jays have also been spotted in the Mission and Glenmore areas, he said. These are not the more common resident Steller’s Jays, but a lighter-blue and white jay more common in the east.

Charlesworth said if the weather stays on the warm side, ponds and other bodies of water will still be open, which means more birds will be counted and a wider variety of birds.

If you’d like to participate in a field group, contact him at 718-0335 or by e-mail: c_charlesworth23@hotmail.com

For those interested in participating in the Feeder Watch program, the contact this year is Denise Brownlie, who can be reached at 717-1809 or at: owls-nest@shaw.ca with your total number of birds sighted on count day.

Charlesworth advises you to count individual species during the day, but only count the highest number of any one species from the day for your final tally.

For instance, if you see 10 House Finches at 9 a.m., and eight at 10 a.m., only use the 10, so you’re not counting any twice.

Either phone or e-mail her at the end of the day with your final tallies.

You will be part of the 113th year that the CBC has been conducted throughout the Americas during the Christmas/New Years period.

Results are used to help determine trends in bird populations, to assess the health of populations and guide conservation efforts.

It’s the longest-running citizen science survey in the world.

jsteeves@kelownacapnews.com

 

Just Posted

UPDATE: Serwa second fastest in ski cross seeding

Kelowna ski cross racer has solid run in the seeding round of the women’s ski cross event

Kelowna council approves large temporary farm worker housing plan

One of the area’s largest cherry growers will house 140 temporary farm workers on Shanks Road farm

RCMP investigate weapons complaint

Kelowna police looking for suspect who apparently pulled a handgun Tuesday night

Major accident Highway 33 in Kelowna

The jaws of life were used to help one person out of the vehicle

Kelowna pensioners call for changes to pension laws

Group meets with Kelowna-Lake Country MP and asks for his support

Salvation Army thanks community for fundraising

Local group helped many families over Christmas and the funds will keep going

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Team USA beats Canada 3-2 on the shootout to take home Olympic gold

Americans win their first gold medal since 1998

Two Haida men detained for crossing U.S.-Canada border

Edenshaw and Frisby travelled from Alaska to Prince Rupert for the All Native Basketball Tournament

Date set for Silver Creek man’s bail ruling

Curtis Sagmoen will learn on Feb. 28 if he will be released from custody

Alberta takes out full-page ads in B.C. over strained relationship

It’s the latest move between the two provinces over progress on Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

B.C. teacher suspended over allegedly using N-word in worksheets

Trafalgar Elementary teacher under investigation by Vancouver School Board

Toddler swept away in Ontario floods

Toddler missing as flooding forces thousands from their homes in Ontario

Most Read