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Participants welcome to join Christmas Bird Counts in the County

The Barred Owl’s hooting call is described as: “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?” Barred owls are common, though populations have declined with loss of swamp habitats. They are seen in daytime more often than other nocturnal owls. – Sharon Harrison photo

Prince Edward County birders will join peers from across North America to monitor bird populations in this year’s Christmas Bird Count.

Data collected in the late stages of southward migration collected helps show how the continent’s bird populations have changed, and local trends can indicate habitat fragmentation, or signal an environmental threat.

Each one-day bird census is conducted by volunteers of all ages and skill levels. Anyone that loves to spend a day outside is welcome to join in free of charge. All birds seen or heard are counted from dawn to dusk within a 24-km circle that stays the same from year-to-year. The goal for each team is to count as many birds as possible within a designated area.

The count began in 1900, and today it is North America’s longest-running wildlife census.

Every volunteer who braves the elements to take part in a count contributes to the study and conservation of birds.

Scientists use the data collected to monitor the health and status of resident and migratory birds over time and to develop conservation strategies for species in decline and their habitats.

The Christmas Bird Count also teaches citizen scientists about the myriad bird species that live in and migrate through their communities.

Participate in the Prince Edward Point Christmas Bird Count on Sat., Dec. 16, 2023 – all day.
Contact Compiler Dale Smith at doc0013@icloud.com for information on this count.

Participate in the Sandbanks Christmas Bird Count on Tues., Dec. 19, 2023 – all day.
Contact Compiler Tyler Hoar at thoar@rogers.com for information on this count.

This year’s count runs Dec. 14 to Jan. 5, 2024. Visit the Ontario Nature website (ontarionature.org/cbc) to find a Nature Network count near you. For a comprehensive list of counts happening across Canada, visit the Birds Canada website (birdscanada.org/bird-science/christmas-bird-count).

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