Tag Archives: American Robin

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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Cawing Crows

By Chadd Cawson, The Columbia Valley Pioneer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

As we kick off the month of Halloween, let’s talk about one of nature’s spookier birds, the crow. While there are 40 different species worldwide, the species we most commonly see flying above the unceded territories of the Secwépemc and Ktunaxa Peoples and the land chosen as home by the Métis Peoples of B.C., is the American crow. Despite its name, this member of the Corvidae family, can be found soaring across Canada (along with most of the U.S.) except on the Pacific Coast, where its close cousin, the Northwestern crow, flies in its place. The Corvidae family has many members which include jackdaws, rooks, and ravens, which look almost identical to crows at first glance but are slightly bigger in size. 

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Cortes Island’s Spring 2022 Bird Count

A total of 92 species are listed in Cortes Island’s Spring 2022 Bird count. More than 20 birders participated, including local naturalist George Sirk who started the day off as a guide on board the Misty Isles. This year’s count was expanded to include Mitlenatch island, where Sirk served as a naturalist in 1969 and 71.

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Wildlife returning to the Dillon Creek Wetlands

It has been a year since Autumn Barrett-Morgan was hired as a Biological Monitoring Technician at the Dillon Creek Wetlands Restoration Project. This is in Cortes Island’s oldest farm site, currently known as Linnaea Farm, but prior to the land being a farm, it was wetlands. Three years ago the Friends of Cortes Island (FOCI) and Linnaea Farm partnered in a project to restore the wetlands, to help reduce the sediment and thus reduce the nutrients flowing down Dillon Creek into Gunflint Lake. The wetlands are also meant to enhance the breeding and foraging grounds for wildlife, including Species at Risk. 

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