Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Large group of 65 area birders participate in Carleton Place Christmas Bird Count

By Iain Wilkes

On December 27th local birders took part in the Audubon Society’s 115th Christmas Bird Count (CBC) supported within Canada by Bird Studies Canada.   Audubon’s CBC is composed of over 2300 defined areas across North America where thousands of citizen scientists each year volunteer their time to record every bird within the area on one specific day between December 16th and January 5th.   The center of the bridge over the Mississippi River in Carleton Place defines the center of a 12 km radius circle within which all species and individuals are recorded.  The resultant data is provided to Audubon for research into changing species populations and locations and it is an essential element in conservation plans and habitat protection across our continent.

Great Horned Owl Howard Robinson

Great Horned Owl photographed during the Carleton Place CBC. Photo by Howard Robinson

This year’s excellent turn out to conduct the Carleton Place count included 39 field volunteers and 26 feeder observers.  Over 5440 individual birds were recorded during a day that was cloudy with sunny breaks and above average temperatures. This represented 47 different species of birds recorded.  Highlights for this year were record high numbers of White-breasted Nuthatch, Ravens and Pileated Woodpeckers seen and a single Great-Blue Heron found in the marsh on Hwy 7 at the edge of town.    Notable and in common with other southern Ontario count areas, was the near complete absence of northern birds, including very low numbers of Redpolls, Siskins, Crossbills and Snow Buntings as well as no Bohemian Waxwings, Pine Grosbeaks or Golden-crowned Kinglets.   One Snowy Owl arrived early in December and is still resident on the edge of Carleton Place.  Other Owls included 1 Great Horned and 2 Barred Owls, as well as two Saw-whet Owls heard during the count week. Other raptors included 14 Red-tailed and 2 Rough-legged Hawks, plus 1 Bald Eagle, 1 Northern Harrier, 2 Cooper’s and 1 Merlin. The complete list of species number is posted here: CP CBC Records 2014

House Sparrows Howard RobinsonHouse Sparrows photographed during the Carleton Place CBC. Photo by Howard Robinson.

Many thanks go to all of the volunteers who make this important conservation program successful and to the MVFN social committee, who organized the food and refreshments at the end of the day in the community room when the tired field volunteers arrived to have their data recorded and trade stories of their day.  The Carleton Place CBC is organized by Iain Wilkes and supported by the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists as part of their ongoing conversation programs.

Happy New Year and Best Wishes for 2015

 

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Avid birders and nature lovers in Carleton Place and surrounding areas will soon join citizen scientists throughout the Americas and participate in the 115th Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC). Participants are invited to take part in the Carleton Place CBC to be held this year on Saturday, December 27th.  The Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) will once again sponsor this bird count as well as the Lanark Highlands count. The count area for the Carleton Place CBC is a 24 km circle centered on the bridge over the Mississippi River in Carleton Place, and includes Almonte, Appleton and Ashton.

Red-breasted Nuthatch (1024x892)

A red-breasted nuthatch, one of the species which may be seen during the Christmas Bird Counts being organized by the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists.  Photo by Susan Wilkes

Over 2,000 individual counts are scheduled to take place throughout the Americas and beyond between December 14, 2014 and January 5, 2015. The intense citizen science effort of Christmas bird counts began over a century ago when 27 conservationists changed the course of ornithological history.  On Christmas Day in 1900, Frank Chapman (scientist, writer and a member of the budding Audubon Society) proposed that instead of the traditional hunt that they count all the birds they saw, founding a popular tradition and one that is now considered the world’s most significant citizen-based conservation effort.

 “Each CBC volunteer observer is an important contributor, helping to shape the overall direction of bird conservation,” says Dick Cannings, Bird Studies Canada’s Christmas Bird Count Coordinator.  “Bird Studies Canada and our partners at the National Audubon Society in the United States rely on data from the CBC database to monitor bird populations.”

 Last year, during the 2013 Carleton Place Christmas Bird Count over 50 volunteers spent the day observing birds resulting in the recording of over 5200 birds and 44 different species. The first Carleton Place CBC took place in 1944.

 Volunteers are essential to the success of the Christmas bird counts. You do not have to be an expert but it helps to be familiar with local bird species.  In any case, participants in the field counts will be placed in a team led by an experienced birder and everyone is welcome. You will need a pair of binoculars.  As well residents with bird feeders within a count area can also help by listing all birds at your feeder or in your yard on the count day.

 For more information or to register for the December 27th Carleton Place count, please contact Iain Wilkes at 613-257-1126 or  .  If you are interested in helping out by counting birds at home at your feeder please contact Georgina Doe at 613- 257-2103.  At the end of the Carleton Place count day, field participants will return to the Community Room upstairs at Steve’s Independent in Carleton Place on McNeely Avenue for the count-in as well as refreshments.

 Best of the Season to All!

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Press Release

Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists

November 26, 2013

Join 114th Audubon Christmas Bird Counting tradition as part of Carleton Place or Lanark Highlands count

Birders and nature enthusiasts in Carleton Place and Lanark Highlands areas will soon join citizen scientists throughout the Americas and participate in the Audubon Society’s longest-running wintertime tradition, the Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC). The Carleton Place CBC will be held this year on Friday, December 27th. The Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) will once again sponsor this bird count. The count area is a 24 km circle centered on the bridge over the Mississippi River in Carleton Place, and includes Almonte, Appleton and Ashton. The Lanark Highlands count, also sponsored by MVFN, will take place a few days later on Monday, December 30th.  Details for both counts will be posted on the MVFN.ca website.

This year, over 2,000 individual counts are scheduled to take place throughout the Americas and beyond between December 14, 2012 and January 5, 2013. “Each CBC volunteer observer is an important contributor, helping to shape the overall direction of bird conservation,” says Dick Cannings, Bird Studies Canada’s Christmas Bird Count Coordinator. “Bird Studies Canada and our partners at the National Audubon Society in the United States rely on data from the CBC database to monitor bird populations.” Last year, during the 2012 Carleton Place Christmas Bird Count over 50 volunteers spent the day observing birds resulting in the recording of nearly 5000 birds and 56 different species. The first Audubon bird count in Carleton Place took place in 1944.

The CBC tradition began over a century ago when 27 conservationists in 25 localities, led by scientist and writer Frank Chapman, changed the course of ornithological history. On Christmas Day in 1900, the small group posed an alternative to the ‘side hunt,’ a Christmas day activity in which teams competed to see who could shoot the most birds and small mammals. Instead, Chapman proposed that they identify, count, and record all the birds they saw, founding what is now considered to be the world’s most significant citizen-based conservation effort.

Volunteers are essential to the success of the CBC. You don’t need to be an expert but it helps to be familiar with local bird species. In any case, participants in the field counts will be placed in a team led by an experienced birder and everyone is welcome. You will need a pair of binoculars. As well, residents with bird feeders within a count area can also help by listing all birds at your feeder or in your yard on the count day.

For more information or to register for the Carleton Place CBC on December 27th, please contact Iain Wilkes at 613-257-1126 or . If you are interested in helping out by counting birds at your feeder for the Carleton Place count, please register with Georgina Doe at 613- 257-2103. At the end of the Carleton Place count day, field participants will return to the Community Room upstairs at Steve’s Independent in Carleton Place on McNeely Avenue for the count-in as well as refreshments.

For more information or to register for the Lanark Highlands CBC please contact Marilyn Barnett at 613-259-2269 or

Best of the Season to All!

 

 

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Carleton Place and area birders to join in counting birds during the 113th Audubon Christmas Bird Count

Birders and nature enthusiasts in Carleton Place and area will soon join birders across the western hemisphere and participate in Audubon’s longest-running wintertime tradition, the Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC). The Carleton Place bird count will be held this year on Thursday, December 27th. The Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) will once again sponsor this bird count. The count area is a circle centered on the bridge over the Mississippi River in Carleton Place, and includes Almonte, Appleton and Ashton. The Lanark Highlands count, also sponsored by MVFN, will take place a few days later on December 30.th Details for both counts are posted on the MVFN.ca website.

This year, over 2,000 individual counts are scheduled to take place throughout the Americas and beyond between December 14, 2012 and January 5, 2013. “Each CBC volunteer observer is an important contributor, helping to shape the overall direction of bird conservation,” says Dick Cannings, Bird Studies Canada’s Christmas Bird Count Coordinator. “Bird Studies Canada and our partners at the National Audubon Society in the United States rely on data from the CBC database to monitor bird populations across North America.” Last year, during the 2011 Carleton Place Christmas bird count over 50 volunteers spent the day observing birds in the 24 km diameter circle centered at the town bridge; resulting in the recording of over 8100 birds and 48 different species. The first Audubon bird count in Carleton Place took place in 1944.

The tradition of these CBC’s began over a century ago when 27 conservationists in 25 localities, led by scientist and writer Frank Chapman, changed the course of ornithological history. On Christmas Day in 1900, the small group posed an alternative to the ‘side hunt,’ a Christmas day activity in which teams competed to see who could shoot the most birds and small mammals. Instead, Chapman proposed that they identify, count, and record all the birds they saw, founding what is now considered to be the world’s most significant citizen-based conservation effort.

Iain Wilkes is the organizer and official compiler for Bird Studies Canada for the December 27th Carleton Place Christmas Bird Count (which also includes the area of Almonte, Appleton and Ashton). Georgina Doe will coordinate all of the feeder counts. Volunteers are essential to the success of the CBC. You don’t need to be an expert but it helps to be familiar with local bird species. In any case, participants in the field counts will be placed in a team led by an experienced birder. You will need a pair of binoculars.

For more information or to register, please contact Iain Wilkes at 613-257-1126 or Home residents with bird feeders can also help by listing all birds at your feeder or in your yard on the count day. If you are interested in helping out by counting birds at your feeder, please register with Georgina Doe at 613- 257-2103. At the end of the day, participants on the count teams will return to the Community Room upstairs at Steve’s Independent in Carleton Place on McNeely Avenue for the count-in as well as refreshments. We look forward to the December 27th count and best of the season to all.

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MVFN sponsors Annual Carleton Place Christmas Bird Count (CBC) on Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

We need both field observers and feeder counters for the annual Carleton Place Christmas Bird Count (includes the area of Almonte)! The Lanark Highlands CBC takes place a few days later on Dec 30th (see upcoming events).

This is an opportunity to contribute to the growing database of information on bird species and populations throughout North America which is used by organizations like Bird Studies Canada and Audubon to protect their environment. Become a citizen scientist for a day and help to record our bird population in the Carleton Place area. If you have counted before, please consider coming out again this year. If you are a novice, come out anyway as the extra pairs of eyes are invaluable. In both cases, we will place you with a team leader, one who knows the local birds.

Dress warmly, bring a hot thermos, and a lunch (unless joining a group lunch in a local pub). Don’t forget your binoculars. There is a cost of $5 per person, unless you are a member of Bird Studies Canada, to help defray the cost of compiling results.

If you can’t come out and observe in the field for the day, you can count all of the birds that come to your feeders from the warmth of your home.

The Carleton Place CBC count area is a 24 km diameter circle centered on the town of Carleton Place and it includes Almonte. The Count is on Tuesday, Dec. 27, and the organizer is Iain Wilkes at 613-257-1126 or

For Carleton Place CBC feeder counting (includes Almonte), contact Georgina Doe at 613-257-2103 or

At the end of the day, the count teams return to the Community Room upstairs at Steve’s Independent in Carleton Place for the count-in and sharing the results, as well as refreshments, from 4 to 6 pm.

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