Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Lanark Highlands Christmas Bird Count

The Lanark Highlands Christmas Bird Count

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Dear MVFN Members,

The Lanark Highlands Christmas Bird Count (LHCBC) is on for the 10th year, Sunday, December 30. This Lanark Highlands Count is sponsored by MVFN. It is a Bird Studies Canada project and part of the Audubon Christmas Bird Counts which take place all over North and South America. It is the largest bird census ever. The statistical data on bird species locations and numbers collected as part of this census is essential to the ongoing effort to increase our understanding of bird populations and to support conservation of wildlife.

The count depends on volunteers who become citizen scientists for a day to record the numbers and species of birds seen either at their feeders or with teams out in the field on the count day.

What is involved for those volunteers wishing to participate?

 • Basic knowledge of local bird species is helpful but beginners are welcome as you will be matched with more experienced birders on the count teams.

• Feeder counters within the count circle count birds at your feeders on the count day. At the end of the day all the feeder counts are collected via telephone. Please call Marj Montgomery at 613-259-3078 to register for the feeder count.

• Field team counters will go out for the day as part of field team locating, identifying and counting birds within a well-defined subsection of the count circle. You will be assigned to one of four team leaders.

• If unusual or different species are seen up to 3 days before or after the count day they should also be reported.

The field count teams will have lunch together and continue the count afterwards. After the counting, the end-of-day, ‘count-in’ will take place at Lanark Legion Hall, beginning ~ 4 to 5:30 pm. Refreshments are provided at the count-in.

If you would like to participate in this event, please contact Marilyn Barnett at 613-259-2269 or .

For further information, please contact Cliff Bennett at 613-256-5013 or 

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Wild Turkeys Excel in Christmas Bird Count

Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists

Press Release

January 2, 2010

Wild Turkeys Excel in Christmas Bird Count

A new record for signing up wild turkeys was registered in the 7th Annual Lanark Highlands Christmas Bird Count, held on Wednesday, Dec. 30. The previous record of 188 turkeys, set in last year’s count, was bested this year at 288. The continued build-up of wild turkeys in the area is now evident as each year of the count produces greater numbers. The Carleton Place Count also registered a record number of wild turkeys.

Thirty-one counters took to the field this year, to register every bird seen or heard within the fifteen kilometre radius circle centered on Watsons Corners. Organized and sponsored by the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists and led by ERA columnist Cliff Bennett, the circle is divided into four equal pieces like a pie. Bruce LeGallais, Heron Mills Road, led section A; Bobby Clarke, Rosetta Road, headed section B; Ted Mosquin, Playfairville area, led Section C and Gloria Opzoomer, Bathurst 9th Conc. organized Section D.

Marj Montgomery, Drummond 12th line, organized and compiled reports from over sixteen feeder counters, to add to the total.

Numbers of birds counted this year were the second lowest in seven years, due mostly to the absence of winter finches from the northern Boreal Forest. A few dozen (76) evening grosbeaks were found, mostly in the Poland area, two dozen purple finches and only four redpolls showed up and no pine siskins, crossbills or pine grosbeaks were found. In spite of the low numbers, records were set for downy woodpeckers (77), Cooper’s |hawk (4) and white-breasted nuthatches (101). New to the count was a brown thrasher, which is hanging around a feeder because of an injured wing and one northern harrier.

Total count for the circle was 3154 birds, lowest only to the first count of 2829 in 2003.

Last year set a record at 4130 birds. Number of species found this year remained high at 38, two down from last year’s record listing of 40 species. Complete individual species recorded were mallard duck (1); common merganser (10, ruffed grouse (4), wild turkey (288), bald eagle (3); sharp-shinned hawk (1), northern harrier (1), Cooper’s hawk (4), red-tailed hawk #), rough-legged hawk (1); rock pigeon (210), mourning dove (98), barred owl (1), downy woodpecker (77), hairy woodpecker (89), pleated woodpecker (7), northern shrike (2), blue jay (224), crow (97), raven (30), black-capped chickadee (897), red-breasted nuthatch (25), white-breasted nuthatch (101), brown creeper (3), golden-crowned kinglet (1), brown thrasher (1), starling (97), Bohemian waxwing (93), tree-sparrows, (87), dark-eyed junco (55), snow bunting (166), cardinal (7), purple finch (26), house finch (6), common redpoll (4), goldfinch (334), evening grosbeak (76), house sparrow (13).

At the end of the count day, all participants convened to Nature Lovers Book Store in Lanark for the count-in and hot beverages. Refreshments were provided by store owner Mary Vandenhoff, assisted by Mary Dixon. The Lanark Highlands Christmas Bird Count is one of over two thousand counts held across North and South America and is the largest citizen scientist activity anywhere in the world. All records are stored with the Audubon Society and used for research and conservation programmes.

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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 .


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