Ladner bird count numbers down again

Preliminary numbers has the number of species spotted lower than usual for a second straight year

Inclement weather didn’t pose a problem for this year’s count but the numbers are still way down.

Held Tuesday, the annual Ladner Christmas Bird Count has come in with a preliminary number of 132 species spotted on count day.

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Coordinator Jude Grass said a good number of volunteers came out for the event, although they were short on feeder watchers, but more would have likely come out had the event taken place on a weekend.

Several area counts have yet to come in, so once those numbers are reported in the next few days they could have a few more species added to the list, she noted.

“We’re missing some areas, so I’m hoping we can probably add a couple of more species at least, maybe another five, that people may have seen. There were a few misses on the count but we did get some good birds and I think that would make it a little more interesting,” said Grass.

One of the species not seen too often in these parts was a Bohemian waxwing at the Reifel Bird Sanctuary and a black-headed gull near the dike.

The Ladner Christmas Bird Count last year had the final number of bird species spotted at 133. That low number was attributed largely to the lousy weather. Victoria was tops that year, recording 141 species. The previous year, the Ladner count had a final number of 143 bird species, tops in Canada. The Ladner count, which dates back to the 1950s, has been usually at or near the top in the country.

The count is part of the regional Christmas Bird Count, which is part of a much larger count across the continent. Counts happen in over 2,000 localities throughout the Western Hemisphere It's the 117th year for the counts, an ongoing project of the National Audubon Society in the United States and coordinated in Canada by Bird Studies Canada.

Each Christmas Bird Count is conducted on a single day between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5. They’re are carried out within a 24-kilometre diameter circle that stays the same from year to year.

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