Christmas (Birding) in Killarney

Killarney celebrated its 14th annual Christmas Bird Count with mild temperatures and no snow! This year’s count was unusual in that the temperatures were above freezing, with dense fog in the morning and rain in the afternoon.

The total count for 2011 was 23 species and 376 birds. This is down from the 2010 count where there were 32 species and 474 birds counted. The birds seemed to be more dispersed this year with no snow and more open water.

Here’s a breakdown.
Most unusual bird (for our count)
o Brown Creeper

Most numerous birds
o Black-capped Chickadees
o Common Ravens
o Blue Jays

Most common birds– on the count every year 1998 to 2011
o Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers,
o Black-capped Chickadees
o White-breasted and Red-breasted Nuthatches
o Bald Eagles
o Ruffed Grouse
o European Starlings
o Blue Jays
o Common Ravens

Other Birds of Note:
o Northern Shrike
o Red-Bellied Woodpecker
o Golden Crowned Kinglets
o Long Tailed Duck

Fifteen participants enjoyed the mild temperatures and walking without snowshoes!

The day lasted from sunrise to sunset and included five different areas ranging from Killarney Village to along highway #637 and three areas by foot along the Georgian Bay coast, park roads and hiking trails. As in past years, the potluck dinner was a highlight.

Next years count will occur on December 19, 2012 – call the park at 705-287-2900 for more details if you would like to join us. Previous birding experience is not required.

As part of the longest-running citizen science survey in the world (112 years!), this 14th survey in Killarney contributes to the Audubon Society’s worldwide data set supporting essential data for conservation efforts.

Pairing experienced with novice birders helps to introduce newcomers to the survey and helps to continue growing this important effort. Counts occur between December 14 and January 5 each year. To join a count near you visit www.birdscanada.org/volunteer/cbc. Counts in Canada have been coordinated in partnership with Bird Studies Canada since the year 2000.