Christmas is for the birds at Killarney

Christmas bird counts have been a tradition that has been taking place for the past 114 years.  In 1900, A single man set out to count the number of different bird species and now these counts take place in over 2000 localities in Canada, US, Latin America and the Caribbean.  Bird Studies Canada now coordinates with all the local organizers to help make these counts possible.  This year, all counts must take place between December 14 and January 5.  Birds are counted in a 24km diameter circle; the same area is then used every year.

Seventeen years ago, Killarney Provincial Park started to take part in the Christmas Bird Counts.  It is an all-day event, which ends in a large potluck.  Experienced and the unexperienced birders are welcomed, as groups are divided according to birding knowledge.  This makes it a perfect event for visitors who would like a fun and interactive way to learn new bird species and calls; a perfect reason to dust off those binoculars you have always wanted to use!  Here are some of the birds you might see or hear at the count:

  • black-capped chickadees
  • common ravens
  • blue jays
  • downy and hairy woodpeckers
  • white-breasted and red-breasted nuthatches
  • bald eagles
  • ruffed grouse
Photo Credit: Bird Studies Canada

This is one of the ‘cool things’ in Killarney Provincial Park; if you would like to take part in the Christmas Bird Count it will be taking place on December 17 at 8am at the Researchers Building.  Make sure you bring a packed lunch, some water and some good layers to keep warm.  For individuals interested in snowshoeing, rentals will be available.  It is also a great reason to have a midweek escape to a winter wonderland; Killarney is equipped with 6 yurts for rent.   For more information and to register for the event please contact: Cameron Hoepp, Assistant Superintendent, at (705) 287 2891 x 222.

Also make sure you check out the ‘Cool Things’ video for Killarney Provincial Park!

Other Provincial Parks that have Christmas Bird Counts are:

Presqu’ile Provincial Park: December 14, 2014

Contact: Maureen Riggs,

Pinery Provincial Park: December 13, 2014

Contact: Tanya Berkers,