Eagle numbers up

Eagle numbers up
Kate Bouey - Jan 24, 2017
Castanet

The number Golden eagles spotted in the North Okanagan this month is higher than it has been in years, says one expert.

The annual swan and eagle count took place on Jan. 15, with 31 human participants on seven routes spotting a total of 160 swans and 192 eagles, reports Aaron Deans, coordinator and executive director of the Allan Brooks Nature Reserve.

"All four focal species were seen, which was a first in many years," says Deans. "Also unusual was observing as many Golden eagles, with three routes tallying one or more individuals each.

"A total of eight were seen, which is more than recorded during any other year over the past decade."

Breaking down the numbers the teams report seeing:

1 Tundra swan
159 Trumpeters (143 adults and 16 cygnets)
8 Golden eagles
184 Bald eagles (139 adults and 45 immature)

Deans says many of the swans were spotted in two locations along the Shuswap River, near the south end of Mabel Lake and on the river south of Rosemond and Mara lakes.
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Swan and eagle count numbers soar

Swan and eagle count numbers soar
Jan 23, 2017
Vernon Morning Star

For the first time in many years, the 2017 Swan & Eagle Count numbers are up.

The count, which took place Jan. 15 in the greater Vernon area recorded one tundra swan, eight golden eagles, 159 trumpeters (143 adults and 16 immature), and 184 bald eagles (139 adults and 45 immature).

“We had 31 participants on seven routes tally a total of 160 swans and 192 eagles during this year’s Swan & Eagle Count,” said Aaron Deans, Swan & Eagle Count coordinator for the North Okanagan Naturalists’ Club.

“All four focal species were seen, which was a first in many years. Also unusual was observing as many golden eagles, with three routes tallying one or more individuals each. A total of eight were seen, which is more than recorded during any other year over the past decade.”

In addition to the eight adult golden eagles, 184 bald eagles were tallied with observations made on all routes.

Despite the lack of open water, around much of all the larger lake margins and along the Shuswap River, a number of swans turned up. The bulk of them were spotted in two locations along the Shuswap near the south end of Mabel Lake and on the river south of Rosemond and Mara lakes.

“Join us again next year when we convene on Jan. 14, 2018, to count swans and eagles,” said Deans. “Until then, happy birding and enjoy yourself enjoying nature.”

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Plenty of birds to count during the winter

Plenty of birds to count during the winter
by Staff Writer - Vernon Morning Star
Greater Vernon posted Jan 5, 2017
published in MorningStar on January 8th

There was lots of action during the Christmas bird count.

The North Okanagan Naturalists Club held the event Dec. 18 throughout Greater Vernon.

“The weather really co-operated so the count was quite successful with about 20,000 birds counted of 92 species,” said Peter Blokker, count co-ordinator.

Among the highlights were two yellow-headed blackbirds found by the team of Ian Robertson at O’Keefe Ranch.

“This was voted the bird of the day,” said Blokker.

Gail Loughridge and Jim Bodkin were the runners-up with two red-breasted mergansers near Kin Beach.

Among other interesting sightings were 11 wild turkeys in the Commonage, six golden eagles, one peregrine falcon at Coldstream Ranch, four Virginia rails, six great horned owls, one northern pygmy owl, two barred owls, nine northern shrike, one gray jay, one rock wren, two Pacific wrens, one American dipper in the creek behind Walmart, one ruby-crowned kinglet, two varied thrushes, five white-throated sparrows, two pine grosbeaks and 20 common redpoll.

Each Christmas bird count is completed within a previously established 24-kilometre diameter area on a single day.

Started in 1900, the annual Christmas bird count is North America’s longest-running citizen science project.

The results of all counts are submitted to Bird Studies Canada and collated for North America.

Birds abundant in the region

Birds abundant in region
Darren Handschuh - Jan 4, 2017
Castanet

Birds of a feather are flocking to the Okanagan, even in the middle of winter.

Peter Blokker, Christmas Bird Count co-ordinator for North Okanagan, said about 20,000 birds from 92 species were spotted on Dec. 18.

Ducks were the most common bird spotted, with 3,749 mallards being documented.

Some of the less-common sightings included 11 wild turkeys in the Commonage area, six golden eagles, one peregrine falcon at the Coldstream ranch, six great horned owls, one northern pygmy owl and a variety of other rare birds.

On Jan. 15, bird lovers will once again be heading to the great outdoors for the annual swan and eagle count.

The swan and eagle count is a citizen science program that takes place mid-January each year and monitors the current population status of these birds in southern interior British Columbia.

The North Okanagan count zone covers from Sicamous to the south end of Mabel Lake via Lavington and Lumby as well as Enderby through Kingfisher and to Mabel Lake.

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

The count numbers are compiled with others from the B.C. Interior and elsewhere and form a database used by university students and graduate ornithologists in various bird research programs.

Anyone interested in taking part in the annual count can contact Aaron Deans, swan and eagle count co-ordinator by email at bishopwildbird@gmail.com or by calling 250-542-5122.

Swan count takes flight

Swan count takes flight
January 4, 2017
The MorningStar

North Okanagan residents can help track down some majestic birds.

The North Okanagan Naturalists Club will hold the annual swan and eagle count Jan. 15.

“All interested people, new and experienced birders alike, are welcome to participate,” said Aaron Deans, co-ordinator.

The count covers four areas with nine routes.

“The routes are covered by different groups, with one group going as far north as Sicamous, another to the south end of Mabel Lake via Lavington and Lumby, and a third group counting from Enderby through Kingfisher to Mabel Lake,” said Deans.

“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 count numbers are compiled with others from the Interior and they form a database used by university students and graduate ornithologists in various programs.

“The count monitors the current population status of these birds,” said Deans.

For more information or to participate, contact bishopwildbird@gmail.com or 250-542-5122.

photo by Claude Rioux

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