The Ladner Christmas Bird Count was completed on December 22 this year.
According to the Ladner program coordinator Jude Grass: “Ladner BC is generally one of the top counts in Canada and generally attracts a lot of interest. In 2013, we were # 1 with 146 species counted on our count day. Usually the top count is between Victoria and Ladner – depending on who has the better weather on the actual count day. There is a period in which counts can occur and this year it is between December 14 and January 5.”
The total numbers are now being added up as a result of enthusiastic residents from South Delta, Point Roberts Washington, and South Richmond participating in the count by being feeder watchers, or coming out and taking part with a team of birder’s in local areas with the count circle.
Other Metro Vancouver communities have also been tallying up their bird totals this month. National Christmas Bird Count Coordinator Dick Cannings says: “They are carried out within a 24-km diameter circle that stays the same from year to year. Christmas counts are generally group efforts organized at the local level, usually by a birding club or naturalists organization.”
David Yarnold, president and CEO of the National Audubon Society, emphasizes that the Christmas Bird Count is “foundational to conservation policy and the data is becoming increasingly important not only in documenting current climate change, but in predicting the future effects of climate change on North American bird populations. As birds face unprecedented threats from climate change and energy development, the count is more relevant than ever.”
The program is the largest, longest-running animal census on the planet. It began in 1900 as an alternative to Christmas Day bird hunts.