Desbarats Christmas Bird Count

Desbarats Christmas Bird Count
Ruffed Grouse photo taken by Carter Dorscht during count.

The second annual Desbarats Christmas Bird Count took place on December 30th and many birds were recorded in the Desbarats area. 

40 participants volunteered their time and a total of 2324 birds were counted with 39 different species accounted for.

18 field observers braved the cold weather and were able to find some decent birds.  A Northern Hawk Owl was heard before sunrise on St. Joseph Island.  A Hermit Thrush, a White-throated Sparrow and a Common Grackle, all rare birds for the winter months, were found as well. 

There were 22 feeder watchers at 13 different feeder stations throughout the count circle.  The highlight feeder bird was a Red-winged Blackbird coming to a feeder in the Desbarats area, another seasonal rarity.  One feeder watcher on St. Joseph Island had a Northern Goshawk fly over their house.  Other feeder birds recorded includes Red-bellied Woodpecker, Dark-eyed Junco and Purple Finch. 

Thanks to an increase in participant numbers, the bird numbers also increased.  Last year, only 1532 birds and 35 species were recorded.

Started in 1900, the Christmas Bird Count is North America's longest-running Citizen Science project.  Counts happen in over 2000 localities throughout the Western Hemisphere.  The information collected by thousands of volunteer participants forms one of the world's largest sets of wildlife survey data.  The results are used daily by conservation biologists and naturalists to assess the population trends and distribution of birds.

A big thanks goes out to everyone who participated and made this happen.  We are already looking forward to next year’s count!

The full results for the 2017 Desbarats Christmas Bird Count can be viewed here on The Kensington Conservancy’s website.