Christmas bird count soars

Christmas bird count soars
by Staff Writer - Vernon Morning Star
Dec 8, 2016

An annual tradition is taking flight.

The North Okanagan Naturalists Club will host the Christmas bird count Dec. 18.

“We invite all interested people, new and experienced birders alike, to participate in this year’s count,” said Peter Blokker, count co-ordinator.

“If you are interested in joining us for a day to count our feathered friends in the Vernon area, with your binoculars or camera, please contact us and we will do our best to match you with a group of experienced naturalists for the outing.”

Another way to participate is to observe and count the birds at your feeder.

Each Christmas bird count is completed within a previously established 24-kilometre diameter area on a single day.

Started in 1900, the annual Christmas bird count is North America’s longest-running citizen science project.

“The count focuses on the winter bird population, which is quite different from summer, as many birds leave our area for warmer climes and other species arrive from the far north,” said Blokker.

“The information collected by thousands of volunteer participants forms one of the world’s largest set of wildlife survey data and is used daily by biologists to assess population trends and distribution of birds. The results of all counts are submitted to Bird Studies Canada and collated for all of North America.”

For more information, contact Blokker at pfblokker@telus.net or 250-545-8297.