Chickadees, pine siskins and woodpeckers are being named on a different kind of Christmas list this winter.
On Dec. 29 young bird watchers and their parents will descend on Canatara Park and look to the treetops to identify birds in the inaugural Christmas Bird Count for Kids.
No experience is necessary for the first-of-its kind event organized by Lambton Wildlife Young Naturalists, says volunteer Mike Kent.
“We try to identify as many birds and species as we can, counting every bird, or estimating counts and flocks as we go along,” said Kent.
“This area is great for its variety of birds.”
Participants will be assigned to small zones in a larger, circular area in which the adult bird counts are held annually. They’ll be organized into teams with each led by at least one experienced birder.
“By having a smaller radius and being in a great location like Canatara we’re going to be able to hit the woodlands, hit the grasslands, and also view the shoreline all in one location,” Kent said.
The day begins with a ‘bino-bootcamp’ with instruction on how to use one of the group’s 26 pairs of binoculars, available through a sponsorship with Nova Chemicals and Vortex Binoculars.
Annual bird counts in Canatara and other places gather critical data on migration, the health of populations and habitat quality, said Kent, who has participated in five counts himself.
“Doing something year after year, at the same time of year, that makes for better data,” he said.
“We’re going to have different birds in the winter than we would in the summer.”
The free event is for families with children age 10 and up.
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: Lambton Wildlife Young Naturalists Christmas Bird Count for Kids
WHERE: Canatara Park
WHEN: Dec. 29, 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
REGISTRATION: Email: [email protected]