Christmas Day – Join a century old tradition counting wild birds
THUNDER BAY – Why not join a century-long Christmas tradition? This year, 63,000 volunteer birders in North America will be citizen scientists and count over 60 million birds as part of North America’s single longest-running and most popular wildlife census.
Last year, more than 2,500 people participated in an Ontario Christmas Bird Count at over 110 different locations across the province.
To participate, simply go to www.ontarionature.org/cbc, check the list, and pick the count location that’s most convenient for you.
Some of the longest running Christmas Bird Counts in Ontario are: Nature London (102 years), Hamilton Naturalists (85+), Durham Region Field Naturalists (58), Midland Pentanguishene Field Naturalists Club (50), and Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (62).
Ontario Nature member groups organize nearly half of the Ontario Christmas Bird Counts. The counts attract participants from novice to expert and there is no charge for participating. It is a great opportunity to learn more about birds and get outside with friends.
The data collected allows researchers and conservation organizations to study the health of birds across North America. Armed with this information, groups like Ontario Nature can set priorities for bird conservation. “Being annual events, Christmas Bird Counts mean volunteer citizen scientists track bird populations and ranges year over year,” observed John Urquhart, Ontario Nature’s conservation science manager. “It is a fun, sociable and cost-effective way to gather data and identify trends so groups like Ontario Nature can undertake conservation work where it is most needed.”
For a full list of the Ontario Nature member groups holding bird counts, visit: www.ontarionature.org/cbc.