Christmas Bird Count Takes Place Saturday in Kelowna

Central Okanagan Naturalist Club asking for your help to count birds in annual count that dates back to the 1960s

A Gray Catbird, not native to Kelowna or even western North America, has been spotted in Kelowna

A Gray Catbird, not native to Kelowna or even western North America, has been spotted in Kelowna

Bird enthusiasts around the Okanagan will be out in full force on Saturday in the Central Okanagan Naturalist Club’s annual Christmas bird count.

And the club is looking for information from the general public’s bird feeders as part of its annual count of both the number of birds as well as the different species of birds in the Okanagan.

“This gives us a really good snapshot of how the wintering bird populations are doing,” said count compiler Chris Charlesworth. “This is a for fun but also for science, to keep a good organized record of winter bird populations over the years. I think it’s a good way for new people to get interested in birding.”

Charlesworth says recent trends happening in bird populations is a decrease in woodland birds such as woodpeckers and chickadees as well as an increase in birds that do well in urban settings such as gulls and ducks and geese.

New species are also arriving in the area including a rare Gray Catbird, usually found only in eastern North America, Mexico and Central America but that has been spotted in the Hall Road area of Kelowna, said Charlesworth.

If you have birds at your house, you can count them and report them for the bird count to 250-862-8254. If you want to take part call Charlesworth at 250-718-0335.

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