Chris Charlesworth A chestnut-backed chickadee.

Kelowna Christmas bird count: More species and an odd duck

Birdcount data goes back in Kelowna to about 1960; with some counts the data goes back to 1900.

There was one odd duck at the Kelowna bird count this year—and an unusual fly-eater, too.

Chris Charlesworth organized the Kelowna Christmas bird count this year and said it went particularly well with more species spotted and a couple rarities thrown in the mix.

“We had it the day before the weather turned, Dec. 16, and there was no snow and all the little ponds were still open,” said Charlesworth, who also runs Avocet Tours.

“We had 105 species, which is a little more than normal. The weather helped. And a few more skilled observers were out, which always helps.”

The odd duck that had birders excited was a blue-winged teal— it’s a small duck that usually stays through the summer and leaves for Southern California by this time in the year.

Another is the Say’s Phoebe. That’s a summertime fly catcher that should have gone south as well.

“Those were a couple of interesting birds that decided to hang on and make it through the winter,” he said.

Their extended stay in the Okanagan could be put down to a warming climate, or a desire to get ahead of the spring migration.

Another possibility is that forest fires displaced a lot of winged creatures, and they’ve found refuge in new areas.

Regardless, they’re considered a special find for the time being. If they stay for a few more seasons, they’ll be trendsetters, like hermit thrushes and yellow rumped warblers before them.

They were once oddities, but they’ve become pretty ordinary in the last 15 to 20 years.

Birdcount data goes back in Kelowna to about 1960; with some counts the data goes back to 1900.

All the information gathered gives a good overview of species diversity.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.



kmichaels@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

New fieldhouse slated for Kelowna’s Rutland Recreation Park

New 9,000-square-foot, two-storey building would replace smaller, aging change rooms

Central Okanagan trustees approve salary hike

Increase to off-set loss of tax-free income benefit

New Lake Country middle school named after inspirational teacher

Central Okanagan school board settles on H.S. Grenda Middle School

B.C. Tree Fruits searching for new CEO and CFO

Top job postings at growers’ cooperative listed quietly at the end of November

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

‘People talk about deep sadness:’ Scientists study climate change grief

Some call it environmental grief, some call it solastalgia — a word coined for a feeling of homesickness when home changes around you.

As protectors abandon Trump, investigation draws closer

Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for an array of crimes.

Senate delays start of sittings in new home, delaying start of broadcasts

The Senate and House of Commons are moving into temporary homes for the next decade as a result of long-planned and badly needed renovations to the Centre Block.

UK leader seeks EU lifeline after surviving confidence vote

EU leaders gather for a two-day summit, beginning Thursday, which will center on the Brexit negotiations.

Warrant issued for South Okanagan man facing manslaughter charges

Sylvain Modeste Demers is wanted on a warrant

Snowfall warning for Coquihalla, B.C. highways

It’s another wintry day for B.C. highways

French police try to catch attack suspect dead or alive

Local authorities increase death toll to three, including 13 wounded and five in serious condition

BCHL’ers blanked by Russia at World Junior A Challenge

Canada West loses battle of the unbeaten teams in the preliminary round

Most Read