A couple of volunteers (above) seek out some birds on the Campbell River waterfront during a previous Christmas Bird Count. They might set their sights on a hooded merganser (right) and other waterfowl. This year’s count will be the 43rd in Campbell River.

Christmas is for the birds and counting them

The Campbell River Christmas Bird Count takes place Saturday, Jan. 4 from sunrise to sundown

The Campbell River Christmas Bird Count takes place Saturday, Jan. 4 from sunrise to sundown.

Novice and expert birders are welcome and can participate by phoning the contact numbers below.

Participants will be assigned to one of twelve teams, each with a specific area to cover.  Most of the count areas include both upland and oceanfront areas. Each team has at least one expert who can identify bird species in the area.  The teams then compare notes at a wrap-up get-together, usually in a local pub or restaurant

Anyone with a bird feeder can also participate by keeping an eye on their feeder throughout the count day and reporting the highest count for each species at any one time.

This will be the 114th global Christmas Bird Count and the 43rd in Campbell.

But it is not just Campbell River that takes part. From Dec. 14 through Jan. 5, tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas take part in an adventure that has become a family tradition among generations.

Each of the citizen scientists who annually brave winter weather to take part in the Christmas Bird Count makes an enormous contribution to conservation. Audubon and other organizations use data collected in this longest-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations – and to help guide conservation action.

Feeder-watcher or field observers learn something new each year during this friendly competition. And they know that their efforts are making a difference for science and bird conservation.

Call Luisa at 250-923-9918, or Colin 250-850-0884 if you’d like to actively participate in the outdoor count, or to keep a tally of your bird feeder from the comfort of your warm and toasty home.