Tag Archives: Christmas Bird Count

Birds are smarter than you think

Sandra Milligan has been teaching biology at North Island College, in Campbell River, for more than 20 years. She is an avid birder with deep roots in her local community. Someone from Sierra Quadra came to lecture she gave on bird intelligence, at ElderCollege in Campbell River, last fall. This led to Sierra Quadra inviting Milligan to speak at the Quadra Community Centre at 7:30  PM in Saturday, March 2. 

“Birds are incredibly intelligent, contrary to what science has believed in the past.  They understand what each other is thinking. One of my favourite topics, because I’m a bird watcher, (aka a bird listener) is to talk about bird communication and language. They can have hundreds (and thousands even) of different vocalizations and they really communicate in much more depth than science previously believed to be happening,” she explained.  

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The 2023 Christmas Bird Count

The Cortes Island Museum has been sponsoring two birding events every year for the past two decades.* 2,873 birds were seen during the 2023 Christmas Bird Count, but this number would have been much higher if there were more participants. 

“We can only go to a certain number of places where we know there will be birds, and that’s mostly along the coastline,” explained Laurel Bohart, a keen birder as well as co-curator of Wild Cortes.

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Cortes Island 2023 Spring Bird Count & an app called ‘Merlin’

Local naturalist George Sirk was sick for the Cortes Island Spring Bird Count earlier this month, so bird watchers had to rely on a new app to help them identify species. This new app, called Merlin, is one of many topics that he and Nancy Kendel, from the Cortes Island Museum, discussed with Cortes Currents. 

The conversation started out with Kendel (NK) giving an overview:

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A very cold but rewarding 2022 Christmas Bird Count

Cortes Island:  The results from this year’s Christmas Bird Count are finally in. As expected, the numbers are down. According to George Sirk, this was because of the weather.

George Sirk: it was really cold and it was the day of the World Cup soccer final. I was at home nice and cozy with Kim, having breakfast and coffee and watching this tremendous finale of the World Cup. I had told Gina Trzesicka at the Cortes Island Museum that I was not going to be available until about 10 o’clock because I had wanted to see this finale

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Christmas Bird Count results a hoot with naturalist George Sirk

CKTZ News, through an LJI grant from Canada-info.ca

The results are finally in from the annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) held on Cortes Island on Jan. 5.

Despite the unseasonably cold weather, 29 people noted observations in the field or at their home bird feeder, collectively recording 2,963 individuals of 70 various species. Island resident George Sirk, whose naturalist-guide work has taken him Papua New Guinea to Greenland, said these numbers are right on the mark with the 21-year average.

Continue reading Christmas Bird Count results a hoot with naturalist George Sirk