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

VicPD confirms wolf sighting in James Bay

Police ask that children and pets be taken inside

VIDEO: Furry, four-legged donors make their way to doggy blood drive in Langford

WAVES and Canadian Animal Blood Bank host blood drive for dogs

Annual Salmon Carcass Transplant draws Saanich residents to Douglas Creek

More than 100 frozen salmon tossed into the creek as part of ecological restoration

Colwood hosts open house on future of Royal Bay community

Event takes place on Jan. 22 at Royal Bay Secondary from 6 to 8 p.m.

WATCH: Police warn car break-ins are on the rise in Greater Victoria

Residents can ‘take precautions to make their vehicle undesirable,’ says VicPD spokesperson

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

VIDEO: Drone footage shows extent of damage in Highway 4 rockslide

Tofino, Ucluelet still cut off from rest of the island, as crews work to repair roadway

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

UBC grad and sister killed in Iran plane crash had bright futures ahead, close friend says

Asadi-Lari siblings Mohammad Hussein and Zeynab were two of 57 Canadians aboard downed Flight PS752

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

Most Read