A downy woodpecker photographed during last year’s bird count. (Jennifer Tayes/Special to The News)

A downy woodpecker photographed during last year’s bird count. (Jennifer Tayes/Special to The News)

Birders to gather on the first day of 2022 for the 122nd Annual Christmas bird count event

Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge birders and feed-watchers invited to participate

Organizers of the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count are gearing up for this year’s count, and are taking registrations from birders in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

The compiler for the Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam circle, Jennifer Tayes, is inviting birding enthusiasts to reach out to her to sign up for the 112th Christmas Bird Count, which will be held on Jan. 1, 2022.

While the count was held last year with strict COVID-protocols in place, it was cancelled for other count areas, she said.

“The count of people last year was 83, including parts of Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam that is in our count circle. Normally, we have 144 or more counters. With less counters the species count was down as well to 83 from high 90’s to low 100’s in other years,” said Tayes.

“We are hoping to get more participation as the COVID protocols have eased since last year.”

Tayes has several leaders within her circle for different areas and each leader goes out with their group to count. Upon returning, they give all their counts to Tayes, who compiles them and reports them into the Audubon’s database.

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Started in 1900, the Christmas Bird Count is North America’s longest-running citizen Science project. Counts happen in over 2,000 localities throughout the Western Hemisphere.

The information collected by thousands of volunteer participants forms one of the world’s largest sets of wildlife survey data, the results of which are used daily by conservation biologists and naturalists to assess the population trends and distribution of birds.

“Because it has been running since 1900 and the count circles have stayed the same and the count is done in the same time frame every year it gives a picture of the trends of bird population, ranges changes that could be attributed to climate change, and it uses the free help of thousands of ‘citizen scientists’. The data collected could never be collected by scientist alone,” said Tayes.

People of all skill levels are welcome to join this birding event, she said. Interested birders will need to arrange with the count compiler in advance to participate. To sign up for the local Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge count, people will need to contact Tayes at jtayes@shaw.ca.

ALSO READ: Seniors in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows getting a special visit from Santa this year


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Mallards photographed during last year’s bird count. (Jennifer Tayes/Special to The News)

Mallards photographed during last year’s bird count. (Jennifer Tayes/Special to The News)