The 2023 Squamish Christmas Bird Count will take place on Saturday, December 16. It will be a full day of tallying all bird species in the Valley. If you would like to join the count, please sign up by December 9, so that we have a chance to organize groups. The contact for the count is Marcia Danielson 604-898-9420 or Marcia Danielson.
- Envelopes with details will be available for those who are counting.
- Expect to start your count about 8:00 am and to be out until 3:00 to 4:00 pm.
- Details on the wind-up gathering will be provided.
- If you want to participate from home, you’re welcome to do a feeder count. Please check with Marcia for details.
- The regular, monthly Squamish Estuary Bird Count was held on December 3, earlier than usual, because of the Christmas Count.
This year, after 20 years of organizing the count, Marcia will be stepping aside. We are all grateful to Marcia for her years of leadership with this important event and we now looking for someone else to step up. With a full year of notice, our new count organizer will have lots of help and a chance to become familiar with all aspects of the role before December 2024. If you’re interested, please contact Marcia.
History of the Audubon Christmas Bird Count
The Christmas Bird Count began at the turn of the century. It was born out of an earlier tradition, the Christmas ‘Side Hunt’, in which hunters took sides and competed to see who could shoot the most birds and mammals. Ornithologist Frank M. Chapman, an early officer in the Audubon Society, proposed a new holiday tradition—a “Christmas Bird Census” that would count birds rather than hunt them. The first count was held on Christmas Day 1900, when 27 birders, participating in 25 counts, tallied around 90 species.
Nowadays, Christmas Bird Counts are held from December 14 through January 5 each year, throughout the America’s. Tens of thousands of volunteers brave snow, wind, or rain, and take part in the effort. Audubon and other organizations use data collected in this long-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations, and to help guide conservation action. More about the Audubon Christmas Bird Count.
More about Squamish Environment Society birding activities.
Photo above used by permission: a male Hooded Merganser.