Seasons Greetings Pontiac Birders,
Reminder of upcoming Christmas Bird Counts! 4 opportunities to participate. Here are the dates and organizer contacts:
December 17 - Allumette Island, Vince Agnesi (firstname.lastname@example.org)
December 21 - Quyon/Shawville, me for Bristol-Shawville area. Mo Laidlaw for the Quyon sector, email@example.com
December 29 - Calumet Island and area, Gérard Desjardins- firstname.lastname@example.org
January 2 - Breckenridge, email@example.com
I usually say there are two ways to participate but there are actually three!
1. Watch your feeders and/or hike your land. If you live within the area of the bird count you can simply count the maximum number of a species you see in a day (or however much time you have to watch!) If you are not sure if you are in a count circle, you can contact me and I will send you a map or you can find maps on the COO website
Results can be sent by email or phone to organizers. Contact them for a handy species list. And encourage others to do so as well!
2. Join a road team! The more people we have willing to drive or be driven on the back roads or walk through a village or trail, the better our count will be. Contact the folks listed above for details of where to meet. Even if you just have half a day free, your participation would be appreciated.
3. Ah, yes! The third way is about "wiggle room". Species NOT seen on the count day but observed in the few days before or after the date can be included! So keep your eyes and ears open and encourage friends and neighbours to do so as well. Last year we got to count a Snowy Owl observed by Paul Hodgins near Shawville (and learned about through Facebook connections!). Sometimes fairly common species like Ruffed Grouse or Pileated Woodpeckers make themselves scarce on count day so those types of observations are much appreciated as well.
Waterfowl observations may be a little sparser this year, as the freeze-up appears to be upon us, although we know weather can change rather abruptly!
As usual, I encourage you to sign up to eBird as a way to share your observations and contribute to global knowledge of bird populations. Project Feederwatch (http://feederwatch.org/) is also an activity to consider. Joining the Club des ornithologues de l'Outaouais, COO, is another a great idea!
Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season.
Keep warm and keep watching!