Tuesday, January 11, 2011  
   Volume 81 - Issue 2 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“The main part of this job is working with people, both at their best, and at their worst.”
- Kirk Olchowy  
- Fish & Wildlife Officer   
From December 14th to January 5th, birders from all over North America participated in the annual Christmas Bird Count, in order to observe, document, and understand bird populations across the continent.
In the Crowsnest Pass, 34 species were observed by members of the Crowsnest Conservation Society and volunteers from the community on December 27th.
Large numbers of common birds such as the Bohemian Waxwing, Common Raven, Mountain Chickadee, House Sparrow, Pine Grosbeak, and Wild Turkey were observed.
Some less common specimens were also observed on the day or within the count week, including one Great Blue Herron, one Northern Goshawk, one juvenile Bald Eagle, one Merlin, and one Ruffed Grouse.
Merilyn Liddell, Vice President and Secretary for Crow Conservation, said she was surprised by the total count this year, as she has seen very few birds at her own feeders, except for chickadees and other common species.
“We were surprised by the high numbers,” she said. “We had better numbers than last year.”
The local count covered areas from Hillcrest to Sentinel, with Liddell, Dawn Hall, Pat Lucas, Christopher Smith, Raymond Toal, Phil Nicholas, Shirley Enzsol, and Denise Coccioloni-Amatto participating on site, and eight “feeder watchers” phoning in their results from home.
“We covered different areas where there was open water, and places we suspected we would see birds,” said Liddell.
Many locals also participated in the count in Waterton on December 18th, where 22 people participated and observed another 40 species.
Some of the most common birds seen during the Waterton count were the White-winged Crossbill, Pine Grosbeak, Common Redpoll, Bohemian Waxwing, Red Crossbill, Common Goldeneye, and Common Raven.
In Pincher Creek, 45 species were observed, with the most numerous being the Snow Bunting, Common Raven, Black-capped Chickadee, Canada Goose, Black-billed Magpie, Evening Grosbeak, and Horned Lark.
Pass Powderkeg
Mike Chambers photo
One Great Horned Owl, one Merlin, four Golden Eagles, and 28 Bald Eagles were also observed in the Pincher Creek area.
The Christmas Bird Count was started in 1900 by American ornithologist, Frank Chapman, and has since spawned participation in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
Last year, 60,000 volunteers from across the continent observed approximately 56 million bird species.
A total of 382 counts were performed in Canada, the highest number ever.
The data collected is used to monitor the population and distribution of North American birds, and plays a vital role in the conservation and protection of endangered bird species.
Last year, results from the count played a major role in listing the Newfoundland Red Crossbill and Rusty Blackbird as Species at Risk.
This year marked the 111th anniversary of the count, which is now run by Bird Studies Canada, and organized by the National Aubudon Society, in order to conserve wild birds and their habitat.
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   Volume 81 - Issue 2 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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