Watchers count birds

The 115th annual Audubon Christmas bird counts are back.

The 115th annual Audubon Christmas bird counts are back.

The Audubon Christmas bird counts are the oldest wildlife census in North America.

The annual count is the source of much data on bird numbers, movements, range, affects of weather on birds in the winter, feeding habits, feeder activity and so on.

These counts cover North and South America, the West Indies, Bermuda, Hawaii, Guam and the Commonwealth of North Mariana Islands. All the data, including the names of all participants is published in the Audubon Society’s “Field Notes”.

The Penticton count is on Dec. 20. The count circle is divided into 20 areas, with 13 in Penticton and seven in Summerland.

The count day goes from about 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Teams for the count are led by experienced birders, so one does not have to have any expertise in order to participate. Those who prefer to count birds at their feeder from the comfort and warmth of their homes, as “feeder watchers” need to be able to confidently identify the local winter birds.

At the end of the count day there will be potluck supper and count up at the United Church on Main St. in Penticton at 4.30 p.m.

After supper, team leaders will recap the birds seen and the events of the day in their area.

To participate, contact Laurie Rockwell for the Summerland portion of the count at 250-494-7558.