Join a local Christmas Bird Count!

Dec 9th, 2013 12:01 PM

For immediate release

Visit to find one near you

Toronto, December 9, 2013 -- Throughout the holiday season, many Ontarians enjoy one decadent feast after another.  Why not use those newly-acquired calories to help our feathered friends?

The Christmas Bird Count, initiated by American ornithologist Frank Chapman in 1900, is a one-day bird census conducted by volunteers in fixed plots.  Counts are organized locally by birding and nature clubs. They are free and open to everyone -- no matter skill or age.

This year, counts run from December 14th to January 5th. Visit the Bird Studies Canada ( and Ontario Nature ( websites to find a local count. Ontario Nature member groups are coordinating over 60 counts.

Each citizen scientist who braves snow, wind and cold to take part in a count contributes to the study and conservation of birds. Data collected are used to monitor the status of resident and migratory birds across the Western Hemisphere. The Christmas Bird Count is the longest-running wildlife census and a crucial part of Canada’s biodiversity monitoring database

Says Anne Bell, Director of Conservation and Education at Ontario Nature, “The Christmas Bird Count is fun and informative. Experts are out there counting alongside novice birders, all committed to seeing as much as possible, regardless of the weather. You know you’re contributing to important scientific research and are spurred on by the hope that a rare bird might show up.”

Last year in Ontario, 4,200 people participated in 110 Christmas Bird Counts. A whopping 185 species and 1,516,553 individual birds were recorded. Here are some highlights:

What avian rarities and trends will we uncover this year? Join a Christmas Bird Count to find out.  And if you’re still not convinced that participating in a count is for you, many are followed by a pot-luck.

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For more information, please contact:
Colleen Cirillo, Communications Coordinator, Ontario Nature: 416-444-8419 ext. 238;

Photos are available and we can provide local contact information for interviews.

Ontario Nature protects wild species and wild spaces through conservation, education and public engagement. It connects thousands of individuals and communities with nature through close to 150 conservation groups across the province (charitable registration #10737 8952 RR0001). For more information, visit

Female Cardinal by Tony Campbell