Nature Guelph is proud to organize the Christmas Bird Count 4 Kids every year for Guelph and area youth and their families. The 2016-17 count was held at the Guelph Lake Conservation Area on January 8, 2017. It was truly wonderful to see the children experience the joy of finding a colourful bird in their binoculars, some for the very first time, having only seen these birds in books. We are educating and inspiring the naturalists and conservationists of the future!
The morning began with an introduction to using binoculars to prepare our birders for an enjoyable counting experience. Our leaders then led two teams on a birding excursion; one team concentrating their efforts around the nature centre and at the “chickadee tree,” and the other group heading past the Guelph Lake dam and along the Speed River. Participants then met up at the end of the morning to tally results, share highlights of their birding adventures, and enjoy hot chocolate and tasty treats.
Without further adieu, here are the results: 24 participants counted 507 individual birds from 20 different species! The bird feeders around the nature centre yielded many familiar species, including Black-capped Chickadee, Blue Jay, American Goldfinch, Dark-eyed Junco, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Cardinal, Mourning Dove, American Tree Sparrow, White-breasted Nuthatch, Red-bellied Woodpecker, White-throated Sparrow, and Song Sparrow. The Speed River was teaming with Canada Geese (290 were seen!), with some Mallards (96) and a few American Black Ducks. Also seen were a few American Robins, Common Crows, Herring Gull, and a Red-tailed Hawk.
Thanks to Ann, Mike, Larry, Tamara, Karen and Denise for helping to organize and run this year’s event. Count results will be submitted to eBird Canada for their permanent database, so that they can be used for future research. Snapd Guelph also came out to document our adventures, so check it out! https://guelph.snapd.com/events/view/1008095
About the Christmas Bird Count 4 Kids
Every year Nature Guelph organizes the Guelph Christmas Bird Count 4 Kids; a fun, family-friendly birdwatching event that promotes nature appreciation and environmental stewardship. Just like the regular Christmas Bird Count, this event gives participants the opportunity to learn some skills and participate in citizen science, providing valuable winter bird population data for bird conservation.
Young birders of all ages and skill levels (and their parents/guardians and family) are welcome for this free event!
The morning begins with an introduction to using binoculars and how to find and identify birds, to prepare young and new birders for an enjoyable counting experience. Expert leaders then lead small teams on birding excursions for 1-2 hours, and have lots of fun along the way! Participants meet at the end of the morning to tally results, share highlights of their birding adventures, and enjoy light refreshments. Count results will be submitted to eBird Canada for their permanent database, so that they can be used for future research.
Bring your binoculars if you have them, or use ours if you don’t. And don’t forget to dress for the weather. We hope to see you there!
Check back in December, 2017 for the details on our next CBC 4 Kids!