Tag Archive | christmas bird count in calgary

Christmas Bird Count

As a follow-up to Bob’s post on the Christmas Bird Count this year, I am posting from my experiences last year.

For the 2010 Big Year birding here in Calgary, I decided to participate in my first Christmas Bird Count. I had heard great stories about this annual winter event and I was not disappointed. I was scheduled to a very productive route on the Bow River, with Southland Park and Carburn Park our main birding spots. We had a very good turnout for species, recording about 29, if I remember correctly. Some of the highlights on our route, were Killdeer, a Northern Shrike, a Rough-legged Hawk, a pair of Great Horned Owls and two immature Trumpeter Swans. These swans were seen continually in January of 2011 and were identified as one immature Tundra Swan and one immature Trumpeter Swan.

A fellow bird-counter participating in the 2010 Calgary CBC

Overall, almost 200 people took part in the 2010 count, with 102 feeder-watchers and 92 birders in the field. Temperatures ranged from -15 to -13 degrees Celsius with some light snow falling in the morning. Birders in the field put in a combined
205 party-hours total, 230 km  on foot and 881 km by car. These stats were compiled by Phil Cram, Donna and Arthur Wieckowski, Bob Lefebvre and John McFaul and can be more extensively viewed  by following this link:

https://birdscalgary.wordpress.com/2010/12/27/59th-calgary-christmas-bird-count-results/

Bald Eagles are usually seen on the Bow River

My group divided ourselves up into small parties in the morning, scanning the Bow River on either sides in and around Southland Park. Once we had spent several hours scouring the snow-swept landscape for birds, we headed to the nearest Tim Hortons for some warmth, where we traded stories and identification tips over refreshments. We headed back out, this time to Carburn Park, where we added Bohemian Waxwings, the shrike and some Barrow’s Goldeneyes. We ate lunch in our heated cars at Carburn and spent the afternoon searching our range for any missing species. That evening, all CBC participants from all over the city flocked to the Flynn’s house where we were served delicious chili and shared our tales from the day.

Birds are not the only wildlife seen on the Christmas Bird Count

The 2010 Christmas Bird Count was very enjoyable; if you have never done it before I highly recommend it. Calgary is historically a very high count in North American for number of participants; last year we had a total of 194 participants which was the 7th highest count in the US and Canada (Edmonton was 1st in North America with 439 participants!!!). Calgary also had the most species of birds recorded on the CBC in Alberta with a grand total of 64.

I will be back in Calgary for the holidays and I hope to see you there!

Posted by Matthew Sim

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Christmas Bird Counts

Christmas Bird Count 2010-2011

The annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) – the longest-running Citizen Science survey in the world – will take place from December 14, 2010 to January 5, 2011. Tens of thousands of volunteers throughout North America will brave winter weather to add a new layer to over a century of data.

Counts are often family or community traditions that make for fascinating stories. Accuracy is assured by having new participants join an established group that includes at least one experienced birdwatcher. Count volunteers follow specified routes through a designated 24-km diameter circle, or can arrange in advance to count the birds at home feeders inside the circle and submit the results to a designated compiler.

All individual Christmas Bird Counts are conducted between December 14 and January 5 (inclusive) each season, with each individual count occupying a single calendar day.

From feeder-watchers and field observers to count compilers and regional editors, everyone who takes part in the Christmas Bird Count does it for love of birds and the excitement of friendly competition – and with the knowledge that their efforts are making a difference for science and bird conservation.

Over 40 counts take place each year in Alberta. Compilers for each count would be happy to hear from anyone interested in taking part, and to answer any questions you may have. For the Calgary region, the dates of the counts,and contact information for the compilers, are as follows:

Sun Dec 19: Calgary: Compiler, Phil Cram, em crampj@telusplanet.net Phone (403)228-4142

Sat Jan 1: 18th Fish Creek Provincial Park Count (morning only). Compiler,Jim Washbrook, em Jim.washbrook@prairiesky.ab.ca Phone (403) 613-9216

New participants wishing to register for the feeder watch in Calgary on Dec 19/10 should phone Jean Moore at 403-282-4162.

For information on other CBC’s in southern Alberta, see our Free Nature Walks page.