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Christmas Bird Counts
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Anyone who appreciates in birds is encouraged to join in. Beginners are especially welcome—no expertise is required. You will be assigned to an experienced leader. Just dress warmly and be prepared to spend a few hours counting birds in your neighborhood or an assigned sector.
It is a great way to enjoy a fine winter day and learn to recognize some of our winter resident birds, and there is always a possibility that you may have the thrill of finding a rare winter visitor.
If you maintain a back yard feeder and are not able to go outdoors, you may sign up as a "feeder watcher" for the day and count the birds from the comfort of your home.
The Christmas Bird Count "count period" lasts from December 14 to January 5 inclusive. If you see an unusual bird during this
The Saskatoon Nature Society organizes three local counts. The main Saskatoon count, which covers most of the city and some surrounding area, is traditionally held on Boxing Day, December 26. The Clark's Crossing count (Saturday, December 15) and the Pike Lake count (Saturday, January 5) cover adjacent areas north and south of the city.
Good news: Participation fees are gone. The National Audubon Society and Bird Studies Canada have abolished the traditional $5.00 fee which was used to cover part of their management and publication costs.
This count circle includes the north end of Saskatoon (Silverwood Heights), Martensville, Warman, Osler, and part of the Strawberry Hills. Residents of these areas are particularly encouraged to participate.
Contact: Michael Williams (242-5383) as soon as possible.
Plan now to take part in the 58th annual Saskatoon Boxing Day Bird Count. All you have to do is sign up by calling the count coordinator before December 22 and set aside a few hours in the morning or afternoon or all day if you wish on December 26. Count hours are between dawn and dusk which at this time of year makes for a short day. Teams working in rural areas usually go out for the whole day while city counters may make more flexible arrangements.
A come-and-go social with warming snacks and drinks takes place at the end of the day when team leaders report results and participants share stories. This year Bill and Audrey MacKenzie have graciously offered to host the post-count social at their home in Lakeview.
Contact: Michael Williams (242-5383)
Join us on this, the 30th Annual Bird Count in the Pike Lake area. We have 7 sectors with designated leaders in place and are now looking for volunteers to provide extra eyes and ears, to help us find those few extra species to make this a record year.
Usually, we depart Saskatoon around 8:00 a.m. and return around 4:30 p.m. You can meet your sector leader in town or at a rendezvous location near the park. The time will pass quickly as we move by car around the sectors, checking out various habitats for the different birds and mammals. Please bring a picnic lunch for the noon break at the church ($2 donation per person) which also provides an opportunity to meet the other counters and share some stories.
If you enjoy being outdoors, learning about the birds and the local area, this is a great outing to join.
To volunteer, please contact Beverly Schmidt or Murray Morgan by email at bevnmurray[at]gmail.com and include the names and number of participants, your email address, and contact phone numbers (home, work, and/or cell). Or call or text us after Dec. 14 at 306-321-7498.
For those who like to travel farther afield (or even overnight) there are other counts that might interest you.
Gardiner Dam: Monday, December 17
Contact Guy Wapple (249-3280) to confirm dates and volunteer.
Qu'Appelle Valley Dam: Sunday, December 16th
Contact: Michael Williams (242-5383)
|Last updated: 3 December, 2012|