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How many birds are on Bowen? The Christmas bird count is back

National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count is planned for this season on Jan. 1 with pandemic precautions in place
Ducks
(Photo: Bronwyn Beairsto)

The National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count is planned for this season on Jan. 1.  We are seeking birders of all age ranges to count birds over much of the island on foot, by car, and by boat. Realizing that our lives are a little different this year, perhaps this will be the year a birding walkabout starts your new year! 

The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is a long-standing program of the National Audubon Society, with more than 100 years of community science involvement. It is an early-winter bird census, where thousands of volunteers across the U.S., Canada, and many countries in the Western Hemisphere go out over a 24-hour period on one calendar day to count birds; volunteers count every bird they see or hear all day through a designated 15-mile (24-km) diameter. So, it’s not just a species tally—it’s a tally of all birds counted all day, giving an indication of the total number of birds in the circle that day. If you’re interested in reviewing some of the historical data, it’s available online at audubon.org/conservation/where-have-all-birds-gone. 

Given the current restrictions due to COVID-19, we will have to craft slightly different plans this year and bird a little more independently. As there is a specific methodology to the Christmas Bird Count, if you’d like to participate, feel free to contact me at 604-838-2321 or by email at mmaddison@hotmail.com.

Oh, and for those that are interested, the VanDusen Botanical Garden has partnered with the Vancouver Avian Research Centre to offer an online workshop on Saturday, Jan. 23, for supporting wild birds through winter. Information on this may be found online at vandusengarden.org/explore/courses/.