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Ten years of Sea to Sky Christmas bird counts

The numbers, the species, the special sightings

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Despite two extreme weather events, which affected the Squamish and D'arcy-Devine counts, the Christmas census for 2012 was successful.

Over the 10 years of corridor surveys, 180 species have been identified. Several of those are "once-only's," never to be seen again in years to come because they were either out of range wanderers (e.g. Western Scrub jay at Squamish, 2004), or out of season lingerers (e.g. Osprey at Squamish in 2005).

The 131 species tallied this past season equates to 72.8 per cent seen of the current list seen over the last 10 years. Not bad at all, and it could have been a little better, perhaps, if the Lower Howe Sound count would have been conducted a few days before Christmas instead of its scheduled post-New Year's January 5th date.

It is well-known that the number of species to be seen diminishes in January for most of Canada, which is certainly the case at Whistler.