118th Christmas Bird Count

118th Christmas Bird Count
by Andrew Bryant, 16
 Dec 2017.

 A number of club members participated in the Christmas Bird Count this year – the 14th time we’ve done so!

We had 17 participants, with another dozen who recording birds seen at feeders.   In total, we counted 6021 birds of 88 species.  This is somewhat lower than numbers recorded in previous years, a trend seen in other counts around Georgia Strait.  This we found curious, given that we had a reasonable break in a week-long string of storms.  Results from all our previous counts can be found here.

Highlights?  The Costa’s Hummingbird south of town is a first for Powell River, the Wilson’s Warbler at Wildwood was exceptional, and the large flocks of Ancient Murrelets moving far offshore were impressive.

Thanks to all who came out – and special thanks to Heather Harbord for coordinating it all, and to David Bedry for hosting the wonderful follow-up pot-luck!
Merry Christmas – and see you next year!

5th Christmas Bird Count for Kids

5th Christmas Bird Count for Kids
by Janet May, 3
 December 2016.

The 5th Powell River Christmas Bird Count for kids was led by elder birders Clyde Burton, John Treen, and Andrew Bryant.

The kids quickly took charge of spotting scopes, and we were treated to the usual fare: herons, loons, surf scoters, killdeer, and a bald eagle flying by, maybe doing a young naturalist count of his own.

It ended with a game of hide and seek and hot chocolate all around.  Thank you to all who participated.


4th Christmas Bird Count for Kids

4th Christmas Bird Count for Kids

by Andrew Bryant, 6 December 2015.

It was a dark and stormy morning, with sideways rain and gale-force winds.

Attendance was perhaps the lowest ever recorded for a Young Naturalist event, but I like to think that young Henry and his dad (our two guests) appreciated the day.  I know that I did!

Our species list was also pretty short:  Glaucus-winged Gull, Mew Gull, Double-crested Cormorant, Pelagic Cormorant, Surf Scoter, Bufflehead, Bald Eagle, Crow, Black Turnstone, Varied Thrush and Dark-eyed Junco.

Many thanks to Janet, who put all the pieces together to make it happen, and to Heather, Clyde, and John, who make any day in the field worthwhile.


3rd Christmas Bird Count for Kids!

Christmas Bird Count for Kids!
by Andrew Bryant, 6 December 2014

For the third year in a row,  the Young Naturalists participated in the Christmas Bird Count for Kids.  Although not an official Audubon event, it’s a great excuse for families to get out and about, learn some new birds and socialize with others.

Nicely organized by Elizabeth Tenhoeve and Michael Stewart, nine children and about a dozen adults braved the somewhat scary-looking weather and showed up at Willingdon Beach.  In fact the rains parted and it proved to be a great day.   Thanks also to John Treen, Neil Hughes, Heather Harbord, Janet Bingham, Clyde Burton and Nick Hauser for the scopes and birding expertise, and to Angelique Veerman and Gillian Andrew for the hot chocolate!

In all we counted 26 species and 156 individuals.  Highlights for me included a Thayer’s gull, Mew gulls, a very cooperative Varied thrush, and a flock of about 30 Kildeer that showed off their amazing ability to hide in plain sight!

2nd Christmas Bird Count for Kids

2nd Christmas Bird Count for Kids
by Elizabeth Tenhoeve, 7 Dec 2013.

Once again a few of us braved the wilds of Willingdon Beach and added to our birding identification skills.

 We’re pleased that our kids are participating in the Audubon Christmas Bird Count – and having fun in the process!

First Christmas Bird Count for Kids

First Christmas Bird Count for Kids
by Janet Southcott, 1 Dec 2012.

This is the first year our Young Naturalists have participated in a nationwide bird count.

We were thwarted by the weather, high winds, rain, not ideal conditions for bird watching.  But a few brave souls came out to help.

We worked with experienced birders and walked through Millennium Park.  Everyone learned how to use binoculars and the names of birds seen during the count.

Volunteers track birds

Volunteers track birds
by Heather Harbord, 3 December 2008.

Powell River’s birds will soon be counted once again. The fifth annual Powell River Christmas Bird Count (CBC) will be held on December 14. Volunteer birdwatchers will scout a large area, 24 kilometres in diameter, searching for bird species.

The Christmas Bird Count began on Christmas Day, 1900, when ornithologist Frank Chapman proposed a new holiday tradition-an annual bird census that would count birds during the holidays rather than hunt them.

Since then, the counts have been held every year with more communities joining the effort until there are now over 1,800 counts in North America and new counts starting in Central and South America and Europe.

In the Powell River area, birds will be counted from Stillwater Bay to Tla’Amin (Sliammon) First Nation. Plenty of help will be required as this is an ambitious region to cover.

Expertise is not required to participate; novices will be teamed with more experienced counters. Tally persons and spotters are also in demand. Most teams start at first light and although counting goes on throughout the day, much is done by noon.

Volunteers can also participate as feederwatchers: people who, from the comfort of their homes, count the birds that visit home-based feeders.

Counters under 18 years of age, Bird Studies Canada members and feederwatchers are invited to participate at no charge. Other counters are asked for a $5 contribution to offset the costs of the count and the follow-up publications they will receive throughout the year.

For those unsure about participating or who want to tune up their bird-counting skills, a birding by ear field trip will be held from 9 am to noon on Sunday, December 7 at the old golf course beside the Catalyst Paper Corporation mill. Meet with Pierre Geoffray in front of the old Knights of Columbus building. Bring warm clothing and if possible, a pair of binoculars.

To volunteer for the count, readers can contact Heather Harbord or Pierre Geoffray.

Audubon Christmas Bird Count – 2007

Audubon Christmas Bird Count – 2007
by Heather Harbord, 27 December 2007. 

Members participated in the Audubon Christmas Bird Count, followed by a potluck luncheon at Sherri’s house. This was a species count only and emphasised the fun of learning to identify birds in a relaxed atmosphere for a limited amount of time. Some members met at Willingdon Beach at 8am and divided into groups that covered Saltery Bay to Lund, Texada, Harwood and Savary islands. Others sat at home watching their feeders.

Unfortunately, it was a snowy, windy and generally nasty day so we only counted 45 species.  However, more were added till we had 70 by New Year’s. In 2006 we counted only 41 species.