Victoria’s Christmas Bird Count, in which birders spot as many bird species within a single day, is set for Saturday, Dec. 19. The area extends from south of Island View Beach Road in Central Saanich to Witty’s Lagoon in Metchosin. (Ann Nightingale photo)
A closeup look at a northern saw-whet owl. (Photo by Ann Nightingale)

Victoria’s Christmas Bird Count, in which birders spot as many bird species within a single day, is set for Saturday, Dec. 19. The area extends from south of Island View Beach Road in Central Saanich to Witty’s Lagoon in Metchosin. (Ann Nightingale photo) A closeup look at a northern saw-whet owl. (Photo by Ann Nightingale)

Greater Victoria birders tasked with specific areas for annual count

Christmas Bird Count takes place in Greater Victoria on Dec. 19

While the pandemic has shut down countless events and activities, the Christmas Bird Count still takes flight.

The annual event that draws about 300 participants will different this year, says organizer Ann Nightingale. On Saturday, Dec. 19, Greater Victoria birders will be assigned an area to cover once daylight arrives.

Whether they be by themselves or in their household bubble, participants until the end of day to spot as many birds they can and report back during a Zoom meeting in the evening.

“Finding a rare bird is always icing on the cake during the holidays,” said Nightingale, a board member of Rocky Point Bird Observatory (RPBO). “It’s been such a great year to take up birding, as getting outside for walks is still allowed during COVID.”

Victoria has one of the largest participation rates for the Christmas Bird Count in North America, with 286 people out in the field in 2019. Nightingale has been with the RPBO for 24 years and has taken part in 19 Christmas bird counts in Greater Victoria.

READ MORE: Birders flocking to Greater Victoria after rare warbler sighting

Although they expect fewer people this year, she’s encouraging people stuck at home to join in as well. Last year, participants identified 135 different kinds of birds within a single day.

“All you have to do is look out into your yard and count how many bird species you see,” Nightingale said.

On their website, the RPBO boasts a gallery of photos for commonly seen birds and rare ones too, so people who don’t have much experience with birding can participate.

The Christmas Bird Count has the longest history of any citizen science projects that date as far back as the early 1900s. There are more than 2,500 counts in North America that participate in the annual bird count in late December to early January.

Greater Victoria’s count extends from the south of Island View Beach Road in Central Saanich to Witty’s Lagoon in Metchosin.

The count is planned on Dec. 19; Sidney is planned for Dec. 20 and another in Sooke is set for Dec. 27.

Those interested in taking part can fill out a form at bit.ly/VictoriaChristmasBirdCount.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com

BirdwatchingChristmasGreater Victoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Coun. Niall Paltiel of Central Saanich has filed a notice of motion directing staff to work with the WSANEC leadership council to develop a program leading toward the “gradual incorporation of traditional WSANEC names for key collector and arterial roads”(Black Press Media File)
Central Saanich councillor wants road signs to use WSANEC names

Coun. Niall Paltiel proposes ‘gradual incorporation of traditional WSANEC names’ for key roads

Royal Roads University president Philip Steenkamp said they are aware of hateful graffiti spray-painted in an area of the forest surrounding the campus. The graffiti in question includes anti-Semitic content and a racial slur towards Black people. (Facebook/Royal Roads University)
Anti-Semitic, hateful graffiti spotted in forest near Royal Roads University

Royal Roads working with West Shore RCMP to remove graffiti “as soon as possible”

A cougar was spotted at Royal Roads University on Sunday, Jan. 24. The sighting was reported on the western edge of the campus. (File photo)
Cougar spotted at Royal Roads University Sunday afternoon

Animal reported on western side of campus near Colwood Fire Department

Saanich-based St. Luke’s Players community theatre company has been making the most of their opportunities to keep busy during the pandemic, including staging a Christmastime panto of Alice in Wonderland on Zoom. (Courtesy St. Luke’s Players)
Saanich’s St. Luke’s Players: Bringing the stage to the people

Community theatre company holding online auditions Jan. 23-24 for March production

Frank Bourree was awarded the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce’s first Governors’ Award of Distinction for his leadership in the business community. (Courtesy of Frank Bourree)
Frank Bourree receives award of distinction from Victoria chamber

Award recognizes positive role model in business community

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

The sky above Mt. Benson in Nanaimo is illuminated by flares as search and rescuers help an injured hiker down the mountain to a waiting ambulance. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Search and Rescue)
Search plane lights up Nanaimo mountain with flares during icy rope rescue

Rescuers got injured hiker down Mt. Benson to a waiting ambulance Saturday night

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

Most Read