Cortes Island Annual Christmas Bird Count

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Our annual Cortes Island Christmas Bird Count (CBC) finally happened (after two cancellations due to adverse weather conditions) on Sunday, December 30. Results are now available.  Please check the Cortes Island Museum website.


New date – Saturday, December 29.

This year Cortes Island CBC, co-sponsored by the Cortes Island Museum and Bird Studies Canada, is scheduled for Saturday, December 29, 2018, and will be led by Andy Ellingsen. Participants will meet at 9 a.m. either at the Museum or in Whaletown and will be divided up into small groups to cover the island’s best birding spots. All groups will have experienced birders willing to share their knowledge, so novices are welcome!

Bring binoculars, bird books, and dress warmly.

Backyard bird-feeder observers are also needed.  We count birds 3 days before and 3 days after the CBC.  Please pre-register, and later call the Museum with the results. Birdyard bird-feeder observations are entered into the database as “count week” (CW).

All participants must pre-register.

Please email [email protected] or call the Museum at 250-935-6340, Friday or Saturday, 12–4, or leave a message with your phone number.  We will call you back.
A small donation to cover the Museum costs is appreciated.

Each year the Cortes Island Museum and Birds Canada co-sponsor the Cortes Island Christmas Bird Count (CBC)­ – a long-standing program of the National Audubon Society. With over 100 years of citizen science involvement, the CBC is an early-winter bird census, where thousands of volunteers across the United States, Canada and many countries in the Western Hemisphere, go out over a 24-hour period on one calendar day to count birds.
The CBC began on Christmas Day 1900 when ornithologist Frank M. Chapman proposed a new holiday tradition – a “Christmas Bird Census” that would count birds during the holidays rather than hunt them. Thanks to the inspiration of Chapman and the enthusiasm of 27 dedicated birders, 25 Christmas Bird Counts were held that day. The CBC is now conducted in over 2000 localities across Canada, the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean. The data collected by observers over the past century allow Audubon researchers, conservation biologists, wildlife agencies and other interested individuals to study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America. When combined with other surveys such as the Breeding Bird Survey, it provides a picture of how the continent’s bird populations have changed in time and space over the past hundred years. The long-term perspective is vital for conservationists. It informs strategies to protect birds and their habitat and helps identify environmental issues with implications for people as well.

For more information on CBC check the Audubon site.