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Fox Sparrow, photo by George Sirk
General News · 17th January 2021
Gorgeous weather aided those participating in the Cortes Island Museum’s annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) held on Monday, December 28, 2020. No doubt the ideal conditions this year were reflected in the high number of species counted and overall number of birds observed.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we changed our usual way of conducting the CBC. Rather than splitting into small groups to cover the island, this year the Museum asked previous count leaders to cover specific areas, and islanders to record birds in the vicinity of their homes. A big thank you to all the participants.

With so many people participating individually, tabulating the results this year proved to be a challenge. Usually, we meet in-person at the end of the day to discuss results, compare notes, and arrive at numbers confirmed by all participants. This year, we had the challenge of compiling the results and then confirming and discussing by phone and email, so it took a bit more time.

Special thanks to George Sirk, Nancy Kendel and Christian Gronau, who helped reconcile observations coming from so many participants. All the results are included in the attachments below. If any further changes are required, you can find the most recent tables on the Museum website,

A shorebird sighting of Greater Yellowlegs from last year, was confirmed this year in two different locations: the Whaletown Lagoon and in the south end.

There was an unconfirmed sighting of a Three-toed Woodpecker in the Squirrel Cove area this year. So, keep an eye out for this bird, and if you spot it send us a picture to verify the sighting. A previous spring sighting of this species was near Blue Jay Lake Farm.

Thanks again to all the participants! We hope you join us for the spring bird count held in early May.

--cover photo, Fox Sparrow, by George Sirk