Birders will be out to tally as many bird species as possible for the annual bird count on Dec. 30. (contributed)

Sooke bird count returns Dec. 30

Newcomers encouraged to take part

Promoters of the annual Sooke bird count are again urging community residents to depart from their regular holiday activities and take to the great outdoors to meet our feathered friends.

The event takes place on Dec. 30 and involves hosts of avid birders and newcomers to the activity joining forces to catch sight of as many species as possible.

RELATED: bird count an annual event

At the end of the day, the avian tallies are all submitted by group leaders to a central national database

That information and similar information gathered in the United States and around the world are then used to inform Audubon researchers, conservation biologists, wildlife agencies and other interested individuals to study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America. When combined with other surveys such as the Breeding Bird Survey, it provides a picture of how the continent’s bird populations have changed in time and space over the past hundred years.

The long-term perspective is vital for conservationists. It informs strategies to protect birds and their habitat in an era of climate change and helps identify environmental issues with implications for people as well.

“The information collected is very important, but for the participants, it’s also a way to connect back to nature and appreciate the rich natural diversity in our own backyards,” said Charlene Lloyd, one of the organizers of the event.

“This area, Whiffin Spit and Sooke in general, are great places to see coastal birds. We’ve actually had some very rare sightings over the years,” said Lloyd.

The annual bird count is structured to encourage new birders to take up the activity by pairing them with experienced bird enthusiasts.

“We have leaders who will divide up the areas to go around and see the birds and help out newcomers,” said Lloyd.

To join a group in Sooke, East Sooke or Metchosin one need only contact sookecbc@naturevictoria.ca,.

For those who prefer a more solitary pursuit of birding, there are resource materials available which, when combined with a pair of binoculars or a telescope can open up the world of birding to anyone.

People can volunteer by counting birds at their feeder that day and entering the tallies online at motmot26.wixsite.com/christmasbirdcount/feederwatch.

As for Lloyd, she’ll be out there on Dec. 30, doing her part to see as many birds as possible.

“I actually started birding about five years ago as a bet with a friend to see how many birds we could see. I knew that there were robins and crows out there but, once I got started, I was amazed at the number of bird species around us,” said Lloyd.

“It’s also a great way to get out in nature and see things you just can’t see looking at your devices indoors.”



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Saanich police looking to identify suspect in Brydon Park assault

Victim confronted suspect about the way he was treating his dog

Residents to start moving into first of 100 new affordable homes in Langford

Construction underway on second phase of affordable Indigenous housing project in Langford

Saanich junior hockey team drops Braves name

Club moves on after 53-years with First Nations logo

Volunteers sought to remove weeds from Port Renfrew’s Parkinson Road

Road has no sidewalks, forcing pedestrians to walk on pavement

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

2018 was the worst year on record for wildfires

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

B.C. tent camps persist as hotels, housing bought for homeless

Current estimate 40 camps, homeless counts stalled by COVID-19

VIDEO: Trio of orphaned Alberta grizzly bear cubs find new home at Vancouver zoo

The Alberta cubs’ mother was killed by hunters and would have otherwise been euthanized, zoo says

VIDEO: Racist ‘cotton’ comment by B.C. student generates outrage online, response by school

Administrator says ‘no doubt that implicit and overt discrimination is present’ in schools

Most Read