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

Just Posted

Sooke School District promises learning opportunites for students by mid-April

‘No intent to replicate regular school day virtually’ SD62 says

VIDEO: Musician stays physically distant in courtyard show for Langford retirees

Bob Nelson found a way to continue to play for retirement community residents

COVID-19: Health care workers seek alternative housing options to prevent families from getting sick

Volunteers, residents and businesses step up to provide frontline workers with alternative housing

BC Parks Foundation organizes virtual picnic for the province

Join a B.C.-wide picnic online Saturday, March 28

Victoria Police see new trends in calls due to COVID-19

Police link jump in domestic, mental health calls to pandemic

Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

This is up from the previously announced 10 per cent wage subsidy

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

World update, 9:30 p.m. March 27: Positive news in Korea as U.S. hits 100,000 cases

The United States now has the most coronavirus cases of any country in the world

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

COVID-19: Qualicum Beach youngster gets car parade for his sixth birthday

Friends get creative after party cancelled due to ongoing pandemic

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

Nanaimo RCMP ask for help locating 17-year-old girl believed to be with 36-year-old man

Mary Cyprich, missing since Thurday, might be in company of Force Forsythe

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Most Read