Community Papers

Big bird counts for Richmond

One of the easier to spot birds in Richmond—the great blue heron. -
One of the easier to spot birds in Richmond—the great blue heron.
— image credit:

In the annual wintertime birder battle that splits north and south Richmond—the south has won.

Avian enthusiasts participating in the Ladner Christmas bird count, which includes South Richmond, counted 146 species during the day-long count. The Vancouver count, which includes north Richmond, recorded 133 species.

Hundreds of bird counts take place across North America every year from Dec. 14 to Jan 5. Data collected by birders helps scientists track winter bird populations and identify species in need of conservation.

Jude Grass, co-ordinator of the Ladner count, said the 146 species counted ranks high in the area's history.

"It's one of the better ones. I think our highest count ever was 152 and that was a number of years ago," she said, noting last year's count netted 140 species.

Participants in the Ladner count, which took place Dec. 23, faced mixed weather but managed to spot some rare feathered friends. Among them: ruddy turnstone, spotted sandpiper, glaucous gull, bohemian waxwing, swamp sparrow, pine grosbeak and the common redpoll.

Organizers held the Vancouver count on Dec. 16, a day that offered dry morning weather—until the rain set in. Among its rare finds: ancient murrelet, Townsend’s warbler, northern waterthrush, clay-coloured sparrow, white‐winged crossbill, Harris’s sparrow and Bullock’s oriole.

Ladner's count is No. 1 for species of all the counts in B.C. this year. Victoria is second with 136, followed by Vancouver's 133 and White Rock's 128, according to information posted on the B.C. Field Ornithologists' website

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.