This merlin was discovered atop a branch of a tree in the Morgan Hill neighbourhood of Port Townsend in Washington State during Admiralty Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count. The Pitt Meadows count is coming up Jan. 4. (files)

This merlin was discovered atop a branch of a tree in the Morgan Hill neighbourhood of Port Townsend in Washington State during Admiralty Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count. The Pitt Meadows count is coming up Jan. 4. (files)

Christmas Bird Count needs volunteers

Coordinating Jan. 4 count in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Canada’s bird populations are dropping, with a decline of 25 per cent since 1970.

That fact from Environment Canada is part of what motivates people to get involved with the annual Christmas Bird Count.

In this area, the 120-year-old study is being organized by Pitt Meadows resident Jennifer Tayes.

For her, the annual count has been a lifelong passion – her mother Thelma Forty was an avid birder. She is a member of the Alouette Field Naturalists. which is getting involved in the count alongside other conservation groups in the region.

The local count is named for Pitt Meadows, but it extends west to Port Moody and east to 248th Street in Maple Ridge.

“We do it to track the fluctuation in the population of birds,” Tayes said.

READ ALSO: Three billion fewer birds in North America than in 1970, study finds

The worldwide count takes place between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5. The Pitt Meadows count is Jan. 4.

The Christmas Bird Count took root when 27 birders in 25 locations from Toronto to Pacific Grove, Calf., proposed a conservation-oriented alternative to the traditional side hunt – a Christmas Day competition to hunt the most birds and small mammals.

This alternative initiative to identify, count, and record all the birds found on Christmas Day 1900 has turned into one of North America’s longest-running wildlife monitoring programs. It is a citizen science project.

Tayes said whether you like exploring forests, fields and waters in search of lingering migrants, or prefer counting feeder birds from your window with a warm mug in hand, the Christmas Bird Count needs as many counters as it can get.

All observations help in understanding the health of winter bird populations over time and guide conservation strategies.

Results are shared with the participants and become part of a vital long-term dataset.

READ ALSO: Owl vs. owl: Should humans intervene to save a species?

“Every Christmas Bird Count participant is an important part of this valuable project for birds,” said Yousif Attia, Birds Canada’s Christmas Bird Count coordinator.

“Whether you participate for bird conservation, for some friendly birding competition, or for an excuse to get outside in the winter, your efforts are meaningful for birds.”

• To get involved in the bird count, contact jtayes@shaw.ca.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lobbying efforts continue to have a fish ladder added to the Alouette dam. (News files)
ALONG THE FRASER: Habitat behind dam could help reverse salmon declines

VIDEO: Environmentalist keeps lobbying for Hydro to fund a fish ladder to move salmon over the dam

SD42 superintendent Sylvia Russell.
Need for post secondary education in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows growing

New curriculum, influx of young teachers changing school district, says the retiring superintendent

Desiree Betz captured a picture of an osprey at Pitt Lake, anxious to share some of the photos of “our beautiful town.” (Special to The News)
SHARE: Feeding time on Pitt Lake

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

New Pitt Meadows Mayor Bill Dingwall supports hiring more full-time firefighters. (The News files)
Pitt Meadows approves four new career firefighters

Two will be hired in each of 2021 and 2022

Work continues at Planet Ice, but one ice surface will be in use in December. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Planet Ice to partially reopen in December

Maple Ridge arena should have emergency repairs completed in early January

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

(File photo)
Vancouver police warn of toxic drug supply after 7 people overdose at one party

Seven people between the ages of 25 to 42 were taken to hospital for further treatment.

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Most Read