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Annual bird count needs keen-eyed volunteers

Organizers are on the lookout for keen-eyed volunteers for the city’s annual Christmas Bird Count.

The count goes back more than 40 years in the Harbour City and across North America for nearly 120 years.

Volunteers keep their eyes peeled for birds in their coverage area to conduct a census of the types and numbers of species.

The count is Wednesday (Dec. 28) from midnight to midnight. Volunteers can form teams to cover an area. They aren’t required to spend the entire day counting and are asked to do only as much as they can, said Ryan Cathers, compiler for the Nanaimo bird count.

Counters in Nanaimo cover a 15-kilometre radius. Areas that still need volunteer coverage include Buttertubs Marsh, Westwood Lake, Morrell Sanctuary, Nanaimo River Road and Harewood Plains.

People can also participate by counting species at their backyard bird feeders.

Cathers said the bird count is a tool to discover long-term trends and look at specific bird populations and how they change over the years.

Typical species people could spy in the Nanaimo area include white and golden crown sparrows and dark-eyed juncos. Counters also keep track of Anna’s hummingbird populations, a species that winters in the area.

Participants are invited to partake in a potluck and the Nanaimo Kin Hut, starting at 5 p.m., to share their experiences of the day.

To volunteer, please call Cathers at 250-714-3947or e-mail ryancathers@yahoo.com.

reporter3@nanaimobulletin.com

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