Mathias from Raft River Elementary School’s Grade 3 class keeps track of the birds spotted on the group’s bird walk for the Great Back Yard Bird Count. Photos submitted

Bird count sees Great Blue Heron after a six year absence

Twelve locals and Raft River Elementary were top 10 for checklists entered in Thompson-Nicola area

By Dennis “Hoo Ping Crane” Leonard

“Where are all the birds?” was a frequent question this winter.

Perhaps that question still applies to the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). Though the number of participants (57) increased by 21 this year, the number of checklists submitted (117) dropped lower than in 2007 with an even lower number of individual birds (2170) and species (39) counted.

Yet, the average number of birds per checklist was in the mid-range (18.7). “Hoo Ping Crane’s” vehicle died causing the loss of several checklists and quite a few other participants did not submit as many lists as usual, while others did not see any birds when they observed.

Great Backyard Bird Count coming up in mid-February

With several tied at four lists, 12 local participants and Raft River Elementary School were in the top 10 for checklists entered in the Thompson-Nicola area.

Which species were participants most likely to see? The Black-capped Chickadee followed by Common Raven, Northern Flicker, Red-breasted Nuthatch, or Dark-eyed Junco in that order as they were reported on the most checklists.

The top five for the most individual birds were Pine Siskin (490), Black-capped Chickadee (483), Common Raven (210), Dark-eyed Junco (176) and Red-breasted Nuthatch (89).

A few local highlights: Great Blue Heron appearance after a six year absence; Red-tailed Hawk after a four yearr absence; a few Varied Thrush after a two year absence; White-winged Crossbills reported for only the fourth time since the local GBBC started.

Evening Grosbeaks seem to be very slowly recovering after their disappearance in 2015.

The Clearwater area submitted more checklists than 134 countries. The top five countries in order were United States, India, Canada, Australia and Spain. India passed Canada this year.

The top five for species were Colombia (1101), Ecuador (963), India (855), Brazil (845), and Peru (767). Though it had the most checklists, the United States slipped to 7th place for species. Canada was 33rd.

Kudos to the Raft River Grade 3 class and their teacher, Elizabeth Shook, for joining the count. A few of them even reported from other locations on their travels during the long weekend. Those lists would not be included in our local count, but would be welcome for the overall GBBC.

Also, kudos to a locum at the medical centre who submitted 11 checklists, the second most for the area this year.

So, “Where are all the birds?” Hopefully the earlier mild weather, less snow, and, perhaps, more food in their territory enticed them to stay home and not choose a winter vacation.

Many thanks to the Clearwater Library for heavily promoting the event, mentioning it to almost every visitor, and providing blank local checklists. Thanks also to the Clearwater Times.

Of course thanks go to all participants especially those who tried but were unable to find any birds.



newsroom@clearwatertimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

The tale of Bumper the cat

From life on the street to a new retirement home

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

Tipping fees change at TNRD Eco-Depots and Transfer Stations

Users can expect to pay less for discarding major appliances like residential fridges and freezers

VIDEO: Driver doing laps in busy Vancouver intersections nets charges

Toyota Camry spotted doing laps in intersection, driving towards pedestrians

Every situation is different, jurors hear at coroners inquest into Oak Bay teen’s overdose death

Pediatrician says involuntary treatment necessary following overdose, opioid use

RCMP across Canada to soon unionize, according to B.C. mayor

A spokeswoman for RCMP headquarters in Ottawa says it’s not yet a done deal

Explicit sex-ed guide for adults mistakenly given to Creston elementary students

The booklet clearly states online and inside that the guide contains sexually explicit information

Driver has $240K McLaren impounded minutes after buying it in West Vancouver

Officers clocked the car travelling at 160 km/h along Highway 1 in a 90 km/h zone

Former Vernon Judo coach pleads guilty to child pornography charges

Bryan Jeffrey McLachlan is set to return to court Sept. 4 for sentencing

B.C. Olympic skier sues Alpine Canada after coach’s sex offences

Bertrand Charest was convicted in 2017 on 37 charges

Former Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo to retire

‘Bobby Lou’ calls it a career after 19 NHL seasons

Most Read