Columbia Valley Pioneer staff

Another Christmas Bird Count is fast approaching and everyone is invited.

This year the count in the Invermere area will take place on Saturday, Dec. 16. Experienced or not, all are welcome to participate in this great outdoor activity.

Starting in 1900, the annual count is North America’s longest-running Citizen Science project that focuses on the winter bird population. Many birds leave the local area for warmer climates while other species arrive from the far north.

 The information collected by thousands of volunteers forms one of the world’s largest sets of wildlife survey data and is used daily by biologists to assess population trends and bird distribution. The results are submitted to the Audubon/Bird Studies Canada databases and collated for all of North America.

 Each Christmas Bird Count is completed within a previously established 24-km diameter area on a single day. 

 Anyone interested in counting the ‘feathered friends’ in Invermere can contact Gareth Thomson at [email protected]. Bring your binoculars, camera or just yourself and you will be matched with a group of experienced birders for the outing. At the end of the day on December 16, birders gather for an optional potluck dinner to get to know each other better and exchange notes from the day.

Another way to participate is to observe and count the birds at your feeder. For details, contact Thomson before the day of the count. Note that your location must be within the count circle (12-km radius from Wilmer).

(Photo by Claude Rioux)

Great grey owl, posing on a branch on benchlands near Wilmer, BC