Christmas Bird Count 2011 – Here’s Your Chance to Volunteer!

House Finch

The 60th annual Calgary Christmas Bird Count will take place this year on Sunday, December 18th.  There are two ways to get involved – as a birder in the field, or as a feeder-watcher in your yard.

There are over thirty territories in the count circle, so we need to get a lot of birders out in the field to identify and count all the birds.  In recent years the number of field volunteers has dropped below 100, and we’d like to get it back up over that number for this 60th count.

The Count Circle (click to enlarge).

If you’d like to help with this, please consider volunteering.  You don’t have to be an expert birder – there will be at least one experienced birder in each territory, so you will be assigned to help them out.  Most groups will be going out for the full day, but you can participate for a half-day if you wish.

Contact Phil Cram at crampj@telusplanet.net to volunteer, or for more information.  

American Wigeons

Feeder-watchers:

If you are unable to get out birding with us on December 18, you can still participate by spending some time counting the birds in your yard.  You needn’t spend all day at this, but should try to record the maximum numbers of each species in your yard, and the time spent watching.

To participate as a feeder-watcher, you must register to take part, and live within the above 24-km-diametre count circle.  If you are outside the circle, perhaps you have friends who feed birds and live within it – you could persuade them to take part, and assist them with their counting.

Contact Jean Moore at jmmoore@ucalgary.ca or phone 403-282-4162 for more information on the feeder-watch program, or to volunteer.

Downy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

There are several other Christmas Counts in the Calgary region every year.  Keep an eye on our “Free Nature Walks” tab at the top of this page for updates on these, or see the Bird Studies Canada page to find a list of all counts in Canada.

(Previous blog posts on this topic: 2009 Christmas Count2010 Christmas Count.)

Posted by Bob Lefebvre.  All photos by myself unless otherwise indicated.  Click on pictures to see a larger version.

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