Christmas Bird Count, Whistler’s 18
, is scheduled for Dec. 15
a Monday, one day later than usual in order to accommodate the Squamish count
scheduled for the 14
— the first day allowed for the counts
anywhere on the continent.
Yes, there are
rules for Christmas Bird Counts, set by the Audubon Society and followed by
Bird Studies Canada, the coordinating arm for all of the counts in Canada.
There are about 85 count centres in British Columbia, and the Sea to Sky
Corridor has eight, spanning Highway 99 from the islands of outer Howe Sound,
including Horseshoe Bay, through to Cache Creek on the north end.
needed for all counts, recognition of bird species ability or not.
Eyes and ears, and dressed for the
weather, are the required components.
Knowledgeable party leaders will do the identifications once the birds
long-term average on this count usually varies from 40-45 species, with
2,500-3,000 birds in total, provided the weather is favourable — last
year it was not so!
Naturalists Society is the host for the event, organizing nine field parties
that will comb the valley bottom from the new Nordic Centre in the Callaghan to
as far as Shadow Lake. Two parties will also be on Whistler-Blackcomb and one
party will have the luxury of the coffee shop run through the town centre and
the Blackcomb base area.
years, 93 species have been seen on Christmas Bird Counts at Whistler; missing
from all censuses but should be here is the elusive Townsend’s solitaire, a
close relative of the robin. Owls have been sparingly seen or heard but we keep
trying, with a two-hour night session hoping to snag a Great horned owl, or
better yet, a Great gray owl.
skiing citizens who will be on the slopes on the day of our count, we ask you
to keep a sharp eye out for ptarmigan and grouse. If you are so lucky, please
phone 604-932-5010 or 604-938-1107 as soon as possible with the following info:
species, numbers of, what ski run, time of the day and your name. Every solid
observation helps at Whistler, where birds are hard to find in winter.
designated field parties vollies should call Michael Thompson (604-932-5010 any
time before 9 p.m., or Karl Ricker (604-938-1107) between Dec. 7
. Field parties will wind up the day with a countdown party,
food and refreshments served while the data is re-compiled to see if the
targets were met. Birds not seen on count day, but seen three days before or
after, are also added to the list as incidentals, duly reported to Bird Studies
Canada as well.
For the counts
in the corridor, and if you can help, here is the rundown:
(Marcia Danielson, 604-898-9420)
: Whistler (as
Currie (Hugh Naylor, 604-894-6402 or John Tschoff 894-6902)
(Dan Cumming, 604-452-3453)
: Hat Creek
Valley (Ken Wright, 250-571-5557)
Ashcroft-Cache Creek (Karl Ricker, 604-938-1107 or 250-523-9935)
(Vivian Birch-Jones, 250-256-4062 or K. Wright, 250-571-5557)
So, don’t be shy, volunteer your eyes, and at the end of the day there is bound to be a surprise!