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By Yousif Attia, Canadian CBC Coordinator, Birds Canada

The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) season in Canada wrapped up on January 5th, marking the 122nd consecutive year for the event! Thank you to all the participants who counted birds at feeders and in the field, those who are compiling the results, and those who coordinated the effort. 

This year, we asked our many CBC volunteers to share with us what it means to participate in North America’s longest-running Citizen Science project. Thank you to all who took the time to share with us. We heard from participants from coast to coast. Birds are important to all of us, and your responses made that loud and clear. Many of you expressed how important it was to stay connected with our community during the CBC, from participating in event wrap-ups to being teamed up with more experienced observers and learning more about the birds around us. And let’s not forget that we Canadians are hardy as they come. It seems that CBCs are the perfect “excuse” to get outside and enjoy the winter birds and weather. 

 “I love the challenge of counting the area birds with a little bit of pride in having a friendly competition between counts, areas and even teams.” – Michael Klotz from BC

Christmas Bird Counters at Kamloops, BC Photo: Jason Leathem

“I just love Christmas Counts! I try to do 13 counts every year and travel throughout Ontario enjoying new areas and meeting new people.  I’ve also participated in counts outside Ontario. I have so many great memories! A number of years ago I set a personal goal of participating in every count in Ontario and I’ve participated in more than 80 so far. – Cindy Cartwright from Ontario 

Results on birds detected are still coming in, but one thing is for sure: it was an interesting year for many parts of the country in terms of weather. British Columbia experienced record cold conditions and snowfall while parts of the east had unusually warm conditions. As we start to see the increased effects of climate change, it’s a good reminder that keeping track of birds is one way to document how these changes impact the environment. Once again, thank you for being part of this important effort!

Spotted Towhee Photo: Michael Klotz

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