Tracking feathered friends

Bird count: Naturalists host annual species survey.

Headed south for winter: Canadian geese fly over the city’s foreshore trail on Saturday

Bird lovers will once again meet at the Salmon Arm wharf to take part in the Shuswap Naturalist Club’s 45th annual Christmas Bird Count on Sunday, Dec. 18.

Participants will join birders across the western hemisphere as they participate in Audubon’s longest-running wintertime tradition.

Bird Studies Canada and partners at the National Audubon Society in the U.S. rely on data from the count database to monitor bird populations across North America.

The Christmas Bird Count is now viewed as a vital activity to study how climate change is affecting the bird population.

About 30 members of the Shuswap Naturalist Club will be out in the area counting birds by species and their numbers. The areas covered in the count include the Salmon Arm area, North and South Canoe, Gardom Lake, Ranchero, Grindrod, Salmon River Valley, Gleneden, Sunnybrae and Tappen Valley.

Anyone interested in joining the outdoor count, which runs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., may call Ted Hillary at 250-832-4755 or just show up at the wharf. Dress warmly, fill your backpack with hot chocolate and snacks and take your binoculars.

After the counting, participants will meet at the Seniors Drop-In Centre at the corner of Hudson Avenue and Shuswap Street to compile numbers, snack and socialize.

If watching your bird feeder from the warmth of your home is your inclination, spend about 15 minutes counting your feathered visitors when the feeders are their busiest.

The results can then be phoned in to Garry or Darleen at 250-832-4171. Simply give the name of the species and the number you observed.


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