A fun day on all counts was had by all who attended the annual Christmas Bird Count on Saturday, January 3rd, 2015, co-sponsored by the Cortes Museum and Bird Studies Canada. The goal of the Christmas Bird Count is to count the number of individual birds observed of each species within a specified area during a 24-hour period.
Thirty-six avid and amateur birders met in the morning at the Museum or in Whaletown, formed into small groups each led by an experienced birder, and fanned out with binoculars across Cortes to count birds. All the different ecological areas on the island were covered. The day was chilly and rain threatened at times, though it never really materialized.
At Lynne and Joe Jordan’s home overlooking Manson’s Lagoon, hot spiced cider and a hot lunch catered by Susanne Minogue warmed up all the birders. Fuelled up after lunch, the groups were soon out looking for more birds before gathering at the end of the afternoon at Jordans’ home again to tally up the count for the day.
The species count of 71 was similar to the number in recent years, though the individual numbers counted within each species was generally down. This was probably because of the predicted storm coming into this area the following day. Birds and other animals sense the change in atmospheric pressure before an impending storm and seek protection by hiding.
The specific CBC count information is registered along with all count results from 1900 to the present on the Audubon website: www.audubon.org/bird/cbc
. Cortes results are on the Cortes Museum’s website: www.cortesmuseum.ca
and also on Cortes Tideline (see attachment).
If you’d like to participate in the next birding event, watch the Cortes Marketer, or the webpages for Cortes Island or the Cortes Museum, for information on the Museum’s Spring Migration Birding Event planned for April! No experience is necessary and families with children are welcome.