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By Yousif Attia (Christmas Bird Count Coordinator) and Liza Barney (Education Program Coordinator), Birds Canada


Scanning the landscape Photo: Simon Smith – Photo contest, People category prizewinner

The 120th Christmas Bird Count (CBC) season ended on 5 January 2020. Thank you to all who contributed to this Citizen Science milestone!

Results are still coming in, but some interesting bird highlights have been reported so far. These include an unusual inland record from Ottawa-Gatineau (ON/QC) of a Northern Fulmar, a “pelagic” species (i.e., one that is typically found over the ocean, well offshore). A Red-throated Pipit in Victoria, BC; a Pacific Loon in Gardiner Dam, SK; and a Hermit Warbler in St. John’s, NL were among several other exciting records. It also seemed to be a healthy year for winter finches, especially White-winged Crossbills, which are always a treat to see and hear during the CBC.

You can see how your CBC data are put to work by using Audubon’s CBC trends viewer. To check out current or historical CBC results by count, please visit the Audubon website.

The younger set of naturalists joined in the bird count fun this season through 63 CBC4Kids events across Canada! 2019-2020 was the 10th CBC4Kids season in Canada. Stay tuned for a season summary and highlights, which will include the total number of species and top birds the CBC4Kids participants reported this season.


Female Pileated Woodpecker Photo: Darwin Park –
Photo contest, Birds category prizewinner

Thank you to all the participants who continue to make the CBC and CBC4Kids a huge success in Canada. Each year, Canadian volunteer Citizen Scientists prove themselves to be the hardiest of birders – often battling the rain, snow, fog, or wind chill to count as many birds as they can find in their local area. Special thanks are owed to the hundreds of volunteer compilers who spend countless hours organizing volunteers as well as summarizing and submitting results. We likewise extend our gratitude to the exceptional regional editors who review all the CBC results each season to ensure the highest quality data are used to track winter bird populations and distributions.

Check out the hashtag #ChristmasBirdCount and #CBC4Kids on Twitter or Instagram to see a highlights reel of CBC moments shared by Citizen Scientists all over North America.

Photo contest winners

Congratulations to the winners of our 2019-2020 Christmas Bird Count & CBC4Kids photo contest! Each winner will receive a selection of prizes, which include a book, a Birds Canada membership, bird-friendly coffee and/or a bird feeder. Thanks to Greystone Books and Liron Gerstman for donating some of the prizes! And a big thank-you to all who participated in the contest. It was wonderful to share in your special moments from the CBC!


Can you see it?! Photo: Natasha Ewing –
Photo contest, CBC4Kids category prizewinner
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