There’s still time to get involved in the 2017 Christmas Bird Count taking place in the Kingston region and across the province.
Initiated by American ornithologist Frank Chapman in 1900, the count seeks volunteers to help monitor the status of both resident and migratory birds across the Western Hemisphere.
Everyone is welcome to this free event promoted as a great way to explore nature while helping to increase the awareness and knowledge of our feathered friends, regardless of skill level, and they are free of charge.
This year Ontario Nature member groups have organized at least 68 Christmas Bird Counts in the province that will take place up to January 5, 2018.
Click on the map below to learn more about the local bird counts. Then click on an icon to get more details, including that area’s date and who to contact.
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Volunteers brave the elements every year to contribute to the study and conservation of birds, with scientists using the collected data to monitor the health and status of resident and migratory birds. Information gathered from the count guides conservation strategies for species in decline.
“The Christmas Bird Count is a great way for bird lovers of all ages to help Ontario’s birds,” said Emma Horrigan, Ontario Nature’s Conservation Science Coordinator. “Novices work alongside experts to collect important data that help guide work on behalf of all birds across the province. And who knows… maybe you’ll see a rare bird that no one has recorded before.”
Some provided highlights from last year’s Ontario counts include:
- Record numbers of American robins were counted throughout southern and eastern Ontario
- A record 60 bald eagles were recorded during the Holiday Beach count near Windsor
- The first ever tufted titmouse was observed in Owen Sound and a rare winter wren was recorded in Wiarton
- Count participants tallied a record 55 common mergansers in Thunder Bay
- Rare sightings in Ottawa included a fox sparrow, 2 harlequin ducks and a red-bellied woodpecker
Visit the Ontario Nature website to find the date and location of a count near you.
To see a comprehensive list of Canadian counts visit the Bird Studies Canada website.