Initiatives
Learn more about the work Victoria Natural History Society members have undertaken to share nature and conserve it.

Christmas Bird Count

2016 Christmas Bird Counts

  • Victoria – Saturday, December 17 Ann Nightingale – victoriacbc@naturevictoria.ca; 250-652-6450
  • Pender Island (includes Mayne and Saturna) -– Sunday December 18. (Contact Gerald McKeating – geraldmckeating@shaw.ca)
  • South Salt Spring/Sidney – Sunday December 18.  (includes Central Saanich, North Saanich, Sidney) Daniel Donnecke –sidneycbc@naturevictoria.ca 250-744-5615 (Saanich Peninsula participants are to meet at the Panorama Rec Centre entrance at 8:00 for assignments, unless otherwise arranged.)
  • North Salt Spring / Galiano  – Count is held the same day as the South Salt Spring/Sidney count – Sunday December 18. Please contact Tim Marchant at tim@timmarchant.com if you wish to count on Salt Spring Island or Mike Hoebe lmhoebel@telus.net if you wish to count on Galiano
  • Sooke -Monday, December 26 – Matt Cameron, 250-580-0573 sookecbc@naturevictoria.ca)
  • Duncan – Sunday, January 1, 2017 – marven@shaw.ca; 250-748-8504

Future Counts

Victoria is always the first Saturday after December 13.

2017: December 16
2018: December 15

Duncan is traditionally held on January 1st.

Other local counts adjust their dates according to the holidays and will be posted as soon as possible.

Everyone is welcome!

You don’t have to be an expert birder to participate. Novices will be teamed up with more experienced counters. I’d also be interested in recruiting some groups—walking groups, school groups, scout groups, or any other group that would like to support the activity. Anyone can help out by acting as a tally person or as a spotter. Most teams spend all of the daylight hours out in the field, but there is room for people who can only spend part of the day too. Come out for as long as you can! There are a few “keeners” who go out looking and listening for owls in the pre-dawn hours. There may be boats on the water again this year, so if that is your particular specialty, please let the coordinator know.

If you are curious, interested, would like to see lists and pictures of the region’s winter birds, or just need more information, please check the Christmas Bird Count site (http://birds.audubon.org/christmas-bird-count) If you have a preference to count in a specific area for the Victoria count, you may contact the team leader for the area directly.

Feederwatchers don’t have to register—just report your birds on the appropriate count day!

Post Count Gathering

The Victoria CBC Post Count Gathering will be at Cadboro Bay United Church, 2625 Arbutus Rd, Saanich, beginning at 5:00 pm. We’ll be sharing stories of the day and coming up with a tentative total of species seen on December 17.

Everyone is welcome, whether they were able to count birds or not!

History

Beginning on Christmas Day 1900, ornithologist Frank Chapman, an early officer in the then budding Audubon Society, proposed a new holiday tradition-a “Christmas Bird Census”-that would count birds in the holidays rather than hunt them. So began the Christmas Bird Count. These efforts have allowed hobbyists and scientists to monitor population trends and to get just a little closer to nature during the Christmas season.

More than 2000 communities in North America are assigned standardized 15-mile diameter circles in which to count all the birds they can in a single day. In our area, this covers almost all of the greater Victoria region, so we need plenty of help.

You don’t have to be an expert birder to participate. Novices will be teamed up with more experienced counters. You can help out by acting as a tally person or as a spotter. If you are more experienced, and are wondering about leading a team, we have areas in need of coordinators.

Most teams start out at first light, and although counting goes on throughout the day, much is completed by noon. There are a few “keeners” who go out looking and listening for owls in the pre-dawn hours, and a few teams of boating birders who check out the offshore waters, weather permitting and suitable boats available. Feeder counts can be reported via the VNHS website.

For those who are unsure about participating, or who want to tune-up their bird-counting skills, a number of field trips in November and early December will serve as a good practice.

To help get you ready for this year’s count, we have assembled a list of all the birds recorded on the Victoria Christmas Bird Count.

To volunteer for the count, use our online form, or please contact Ann Nightingale victoriacbc@naturevictoria.ca; 250-652-6450).

If you have a preference to count in a specific area, you may contact the team leader for the area directly.