Local bird enthusiasts are teaming up with the public who want to participate in the annual global Christmas Bird Count which will be held in Campbell River Sunday

Christmas bird count a birder’s favourite present

If you enjoy bird-watching or would like to get into it for the first time or would just like to meet fellow bird-lovers, then take part in the Christmas Bird Count in Campbell River on Sunday, Dec. 27 from sunup to sundown (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m).

Expert and novice birders interested in spending a full day on one of 12 teams are welcome to preregister by contacting Luisa Richardson (see contact info below). Participation is free or by a small donation ($5).

There are 12 teams of two-to-six counters heading out to their pre-assigned portion of the count area. Most count areas include both upland and oceanfront areas. Each team has at least one expert who can identify most bird species in the area.

The day is divided between travel time (by car) and short to medium length walks at prime locations, so you are not outdoors for the entire time. Team leaders choose the lunch spots and bathroom breaks are interspersed throughout the day.

The teams then compare notes at a wrap-up get-together at Mudslingers at the Royal Coachman Pub at sunset – usually about 4:30 p.m. Team members can order food and drinks.

No pre-registration is needed for the backyard bird count on the same day. You can contribute to the bird count data by checking your bird feeders periodically during the day and recording the species and number of each species at different times. You only report the greatest number of each species at one time. To report your feeder count, call the count organizers on Dec. 28 and provide your results, name, address and contact info.

Everyone should be “on-the-alert” during the count week which is from Dec. 24 to 30 for species missed on the count day.

All results go to the Audubon database and help shape conservation strategies.

You will be participating in the 116th global Christmas Bird Count, held from Dec. 14 to Jan. 5, throughout North and South America, the Caribbean and Hawaii.  For more info on the Christmas Bird Count check http://birds.audubon.org/christmas-bird-count

register for the count, contact count organizers: Luisa Richardson at 250-923-9918/Lu_rich@shaw.ca or Colin Buss at 250-850-0884/ busster@telus.net for more information.