It's time to count the birds

It's time to count the birds
Kate Bouey
Castanet
January 17, 2016

It is back outside soon for members of the North Okanagan Naturalists' Club to count swans and eagles throughout the region.

The mid-January count is compiled with other tallies from the B.C. interior and elsewhere to form a database used by university students and graduate ornithologists in various bird research programs.

“Fluctuations and trends in the number of birds are an important early warning signal regarding the ecological health of their environment,” said Claude Rioux, a club director.

The North Okanagan count zone covers four areas and a total of nine different routes throughout the region, said Rioux.

One route goes north to Sicamous, another to the south end of Mabel Lake via Lavington and Lumby and a third stretches from Enderby through Kingfisher and out to Mabel Lake.

In the Vernon area, several groups scout the north and south end of Kalamalka Lake, the Vernon arm of Okanagan Lake and the Head of the Lake area.

The Vernon area count takes place Jan. 17.

“There are several routes this year that are in need of additional people to join the effort,” said Rioux. “We invite all interested people (new and experienced birders alike) to participate in this year’s count.”

Those interested can contact Aaron Deans, count coordinator by email, bishopwildbird@gmail.com, or by telephone at 250-542-5122.