Red Deer River Naturalists

The Red Deer river Naturalists are a group dedicated to learning about and preserving natural history. They have regular programs with speakers and many field trips.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Christmas Bird Count is a Comin

        Christmas Bird Count happens at Red Deer Dec. 20 this year. So it's comin up pretty soon!

         How does the bird count work? This area has been divided into zones. When counters register they can request a particular zone or be assigned a zone. Since 1969 I have done Kin Kanyon BowerWoods most of the time. When my children were young they came with me. Several times I have had other birders accompany me. The odd time I have been asked to cover an extra area. The area I cover is most suitable to walking so I spend about 5 hours combing the area.

       The area is heavily treed so birds are hard to spot. One has to rely on sound in many cases. Sometimes you find a forest opening that the chickadees are crossing . Chickadees are usually in flocks of approximately 20. You count them as they fly across the opening. If one flies back you have probably counted it. Black backed woodpeckers clearly show that they are in an area by the sawdust at the bottom of dead spruce trees. However, these birds are very quiet and extremely hard to spot. I know that I will find about 8 species in the area. If I find a couple of extra species that's a bonus.

      So you see a day of winter birding is full of challenges and surprises. The pot luck meal and entertainment we have in the evening is a most fitting close to a very pleasant day. So don't be shy. Come and join us. If you would like to go with an experienced birder, that can easily be arranged. Phone the Nature Center to register. 346-2010

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