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.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

RCMP looking for grain haulers dumping grain on roadside pull-outs

Illegal practice happening on Highway 5 between Valemount and Avola

Personal Development Weekend Retreat coming up

By K.A. Pendergast Have you ever been stressed? I am sure most… Continue reading

MayDay Parade Theme is “Clearwater Life”

Parade takes place May 18 and starts at Capostinsky Park

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

The fire burned through the lattice of oak beams supporting the monument’s vaulted stone ceiling

Most Read