Plenty of birds to count during the winter

Plenty of birds to count during the winter
by Staff Writer - Vernon Morning Star
Greater Vernon posted Jan 5, 2017
published in MorningStar on January 8th

There was lots of action during the Christmas bird count.

The North Okanagan Naturalists Club held the event Dec. 18 throughout Greater Vernon.

“The weather really co-operated so the count was quite successful with about 20,000 birds counted of 92 species,” said Peter Blokker, count co-ordinator.

Among the highlights were two yellow-headed blackbirds found by the team of Ian Robertson at O’Keefe Ranch.

“This was voted the bird of the day,” said Blokker.

Gail Loughridge and Jim Bodkin were the runners-up with two red-breasted mergansers near Kin Beach.

Among other interesting sightings were 11 wild turkeys in the Commonage, six golden eagles, one peregrine falcon at Coldstream Ranch, four Virginia rails, six great horned owls, one northern pygmy owl, two barred owls, nine northern shrike, one gray jay, one rock wren, two Pacific wrens, one American dipper in the creek behind Walmart, one ruby-crowned kinglet, two varied thrushes, five white-throated sparrows, two pine grosbeaks and 20 common redpoll.

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 results of all counts are submitted to Bird Studies Canada and collated for North America.