Attention birders, the local Christmas Bird Count is coming Sunday, Dec. 18.
Started in 1900, the Christmas Bird Count is North America’s longest running Citizen Science project.
“Besides the value to science, counting birds is an interesting challenge, and fun, especially if you do it with a friend,” said organizer Linda Szymkowiak, lead counter for the Warfield-Rossland circle extending from Paterson to the Strawberry Pass.
The holiday bird count is an organized census of birds in the Western Hemisphere, performed annually in the winter by volunteer birdwatchers and administered by the National Audubon Society.
People in more than 2,000 locations throughout the Western Hemisphere participate in the bird count each year.
The information collected by thousands of bird counting volunteer participants forms one of the world’s largest sets of wildlife survey data. The results are used by conservation biologists, environmental planners, and naturalists to assess the population trends and distribution of birds.
“Our local bird count area covers Rossland, Warfield, Rivervale, Oasis, West Trail, and East Trail from the Victoria Street bridge to Sunningdale,” said Szymkowiak. “If you have a bird feeder, you can simply record the species and how many that come during the day of December 18.”
Greater Trail birders can expect to see up to 30 different species. Last year’s count included seven bald eagles; one sharp-shinned hawk; two pygmy owls; wild turkeys; steller’s jays; ravens; crows; four species of woodpecker; two species of chickadee; four species of finch; song sparrows; juncos and more.
“Our unusual sighting was a male California quail observed in a Warfield backyard,” she told the Times after the 2021 final count. “This bird has been surprising and delighting observers in Rossland and Warfield since March 2020.”
Szymowiak asks participants that if they want to do a bird walk and count in their neighborhood to let the compiler know ahead of time so that coverage can be coordinated and there are no double-counted areas.
The compiler will answer questions and explain details. For all interested, please contact Linda Szymkowiak at 250-368-1882.