2017 Annual Christmas Bird Count for Richmond Hill
In Richmond Hill, each year groups of birdwatchers of all levels of expertise disperse to their assigned sections; each group taking note of every bird and every species that they see in their area. The groups meet at the end of the day where their findings are totalled up. The club’s results in turn are submitted to Bird Studies Canada, which works with the Audubon Society in the US and elsewhere to analyze the data.
Our Annual Christmas Bird Count will take place this year on Saturday December 16 and the Richmond Hill Naturalists are looking for people with bird feeders to open up their back yards for Counters. Bird Counters would visit volunteering households ONCE between 8am and 4:30pm on December 17. They will check the yard to count all the birds and bird species that may be seen there for just a few minutes – maybe longer if your yard is particularly exciting at that particular moment! You may also choose to count the birds and bird species in your yard yourself and report your results.
The Richmond Hill Naturalists are just one group among thousands participating in the Christmas Bird Count throughout the western hemisphere. The count began in 1900 as an alternative to the then-traditional practice of the Christmas Side Hunt, in which sportsmen and women signed on to teams which then went out and vied to see which team could kill the most birds and other animals in the allotted time. An officer of the fledgling Audubon Society, ornithologist Frank Chapman started the new and less lethal tradition of the Bird Census. 27 birdwatchers in 25 cities (including Toronto) participated in that first count; last year more than 50,000 counters in 19 countries from Antarctica to Alaska took part.