Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Lanark Highlands Christmas Bird Count

Field Naturalists to Sponsor Annual Lanark Highlands Christmas Bird Count December 30, 2009

The 110 th Annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) for 2009 will take place over a six week period beginning in mid December.

One day counts have been operating for decades in Lanark County and area including Carleton Place (the oldest, started in 1944), Rideau Ferry, which takes in Perth and Smiths Falls, Pakenham and newest to the list, Lanark Highlands. All counts are conducted within a 15km radius circle.

The Lanark Highlands CBC circle, was established by the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) in the Lanark Highlands area in 2003. Centered on Watson’s Corners, this circle includes Brightside to the north, most of Dalhousie Lake to the west, south to within a km. of Balderson and east to include Middleville.

A count is conducted by local interested birders forming into teams and combing the villages, roads, trails and woodlots during the count day to record every bird seen or heard. The results compiled are sent to Bird Studies Canada at Long Point Ontario.

CBCs have been around since the year 1900 and are conducted all over North and Central America, the Caribbean and Hawaii and now, in South America. This event produces the largest definitive census of our bird population distribution and is used for many research and conservation programmes designed to encourage the continuing health of our avian friends. The CBC is definitely the most significant, continual, citizen-scientist based conservation movement to this day.

The date for the Lanark Highlands Christmas Bird Count will be Wednesday, Dec. 30, 8:00 P.M. til 4:30 P.M. All persons interested in the health of our local bird population, are invited to join in on the count. Teams will be formed, each team with a more knowledgeable birder as leader. They will be assigned a count area and will spend the daylight hours counting every bird they see or hear. At the end of the day,
all will gather at the Nature Lovers Book Store in Lanark Village, to record their findings and enjoy hot refreshments.

Residents in the count circle who have active bird feeders are also invited to take part in the tally. To register for the feeder counts, please contact the feeder coordinator Marjorie Montgomery, 259-3078 or email before the tally date. Then, on Dec. 30, feeder watchers will count every bird coming to their feeders or appearing in their yard, and phone in their resulting tally to Marj. These numbers will be added to the numbers from the field observations.

Count coordinator and compiler for this count is Lanark Era columnist Cliff Bennett. To register for the field count, please contact Cliff at 256-5013 or by e-mail .