Bird count spies 119 different species in Nanaimo area

Christmas Bird Count spies 119 different species in Nanaimo area.

Volunteers kept their eye on the sky and spotted more than 21,000 of Nanaimo’s feathered friends during the annual Christmas Bird Count in December.

Numbers declined from previous years, but Ryan Cathers, compiler for the Nanaimo bird count, said it could be due to fewer volunteers. This year there were 24 compared to about 80 during last year’s count.

Counters identified 119 different species on Dec. 28, up slightly from last year, when 113 species were spotted and slightly lower than two years ago when 121 species were seen. This year there were also 10 backyard bird counters compared to 20 the previous year.

Unusual finds include the rough legged hawk and in the Nanaimo estuary, a red-throated loon and a common redpoll. Species spotted the most include the pine siskin, with 2,262 spotted, and the dark-eyed junco, with 1,702 counted.

Cathers said the counts gather important information for researchers to watch for trends in bird populations.

“Researchers look at the trends and any increases or decreases in populations and see why that is happening,” said Cathers.

For more information, please go to and click on the Christmas Bird Count link.

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