• Lorna Hamilton

The Vermilion River Naturalist Society Holds Christmas Bird Count


A Hairy Woodpecker seen at a bird feeder during the Christmas Bird Count. Photo submitted


COVID-19 and extremely windy weather conditions didn’t deter birdwatchers from participating in the 121st Audubon Christmas Bird Count on December 19.

Twenty-three birders participated in the count and covered a 24 kilometer diameter circle around Vermilion.

“We had 10 feeder watchers and 13 field observers. Some went through the park, and two separate groups did inside the town and we had the four quadrants of the area covered. They were all separate groups due to COVID and they were members of the same household due to the restrictions that are place,” commented Iris Davies.

According to Davies there are quite a few birds who don’t migrate each year such as Black-Capped Chickadees, all woodpeckers etc.

“We have birds from up north that actually come down here, like Snowy Owls and Red Polls and they consider that as migrating, we are like their winter vacation area, so keep your feeders full, the birds that belong here will be really grateful,” Davies said with a chuckle.

Due to the windy conditions birds seen were not as plentiful during the count as it has been in past years, but it was still a successful day.

“We did see some flock type birds like Bohemian Waxwings and some White-winged Crossbills. There were four Mallards on the open water by the dam, so hopefully the water stays open. In total we recorded 26 species with a total of 1,282 individual birds. Our best year was in 2015 with 41 species and 4,348 individual birds,” said Davies.

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