The male pine grosbeak: just one of the birds that might be seen during the annual Christmas Bird Count Dec. 20.

The male pine grosbeak: just one of the birds that might be seen during the annual Christmas Bird Count Dec. 20.

It’s time to count the birds

The North Okanagan Naturalists' Club once again takes part in the Christmas Bird Count and welcomes all citizen scientists to take part

Editor’s note: The following is from the North Okanagan Naturalists’ Club.

Started in 1900, the annual Christmas Bird Count is North America’s longest-running Citizens Science project. The count focuses on the winter bird population, which is quite different from summer, as many birds leave for warmer climes and new arrivals come from the far north.

The information collected by thousands of volunteer participants forms one of the world’s largest set of wildlife survey data and are used daily by biologists to assess the population trends and distribution of birds. The results of all the counts are submitted to Bird Studies Canada and collated for all of North America.

Each Christmas Bird Count is conducted on a single day between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5.  Counts are carried out within 24 km-diameter circles that stay the same from year to year. They are carried out as a group effort at the local level.

The Vernon count is organized by the North Okanagan Naturalists’ Club and will be held this year on Dec. 20.  We invite you to participate in this year’s count.

If you are interested in joining us for a day to count our feathered friends in the Vernon area, with your binoculars or camera, please contact the person shown below and we will do our best to match you with a group of experienced naturalists.

Another way to participate is to observe and count the birds at your feeder and send in the information to the Christmas Bird Count coordinator for the North Okanagan:  Peter Blokker  by email to pfblokker@telus.net or call 250-545-8297.