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General News · 22nd November 2022
Mark your calendars! Cortes Island annual Christmas Bird Count, co-sponsored by Birds Canada, Audubon Society, and Cortes Island Museum is coming on Sunday, December 18.

We will start at the Museum and in Whaletown at 9 a.m. forming up a few groups to cover our usual birding spots. We will meet at the Museum at around 3 or 4 for final tally. This year with George Sirk helping us to reconcile all observations. Refreshments and snacks will be available.

If the weather is bad, the date may change. The final date will be available on the Museum's website and on Tideline.

If you would like to be put on our CBC Bird Count email list, please email us at The bird field lists (to mark your observations) and birding maps will be available at the Museum (957 Beasley Road) and at Wild Cortes (1255 Seaford Road) during our open hours, Friday and Saturday, noon to 4 p.m.

More details about our event to follow...

The CBC began over a century ago when 27 conservationists in 25 localities, led by scientist and writer Frank Chapman, changed the course of ornithological history. On Christmas Day in 1900, the small group posed an alternative to the “side hunt,” a Christmas day activity, in which teams competed to see who could shoot the most birds and small mammals. Instead, Chapman proposed that they identify, count, and record all the birds they saw, founding what is now considered to be the world's most significant citizen-based conservation effort – and a more than a century-old institution.

Each Christmas Bird Count is conducted on a single day between December 14 and January 5.

Birders and nature enthusiasts on Cortes Island join birders across the Western Hemisphere to participate in North America’s longest-running wintertime birding tradition, the annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC). The CBC is conducted in over 2000 localities across Canada, the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean. As well as adding an exciting and fun event to the holiday season, the Christmas Bird Count provides important information for bird conservation. Data from the count were used in assessment reports that added Western screech owl, rusty blackbird and Newfoundland red crossbill to the Species at Risk Act list (SARA), and the general database was used extensively in the recent State of Canada's Birds report.

Cortes Island CBC is co-sponsored by the Cortes Island Museum and Birds Canada. Participants usually divide up into small groups to cover the island's best birding spots. All groups have experienced birders willing to share their knowledge, so novices are welcome! Backyard bird feeder observations are also recorded.