Big birds flock together

Big birds flock together
Darren Handschuh - Jan 17, 2019
Castanet

Birds of a feather are flocking together and they are doing it in the North Okanagan.

The North Okanagan Naturalists Club completed the 39th annual count for swans and 25th annual count for eagles and found there are a lot of the big birds living in the area.

“Substantially more eagles were tallied in the North Okanagan this year than typical of years past. It may have been the single largest tally of eagles that we've ever had, certainly in the past decade anyways. We counted a total of 210 eagles,” said Aaron Deans, terrestrial ecologist. “Thirty per cent of these were immature birds and a majority of all eagles observed were concentrated adjacent to several chicken farm operations in Armstrong and Grindrod. Evidently, these farms have grown in size during the past few years and it appeared the timing of cleaning out offal from the barns coincided well with the count day.”

While more eagles than ever were counted by the observers, the only a few more swans were spotted.

“Lots of open water throughout the region presented swans that were more dispersed than normal. Even the north end of Otter Lake had open water and swans dabbling this year,” said Deans. “We counted a total of 117 trumpeter swans, which is up a little from the past year, but still represented by a relatively low proportion of juveniles with 13 per cent of those observed cygnets.”

The count was done by 22 observers who covered the entire North Okanagan and up to Sicamous.