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Join the Christmas bird count

Join the Christmas bird count

The Pender Harbour bird count takes place Dec. 18. Here, a black oystercatcher was photographed near Coopers Green Park in Halfmoon Bay. Rand Rudland photo

This year, the 29th annual Pender Harbour Christmas Bird Count (CBC) will take place all day on Wednesday, Dec. 18, with Thursday, Dec. 19 being the fall-back day in case of extreme weather (blizzard or very high winds).

The CBC is a one-day census of all birds in the Pender area, specifically within a 15-mile radius circle that extends from Middlepoint in the south to Captain’s Island in the north, and from the Bjerre Shoals (Malaspina Strait) in the west to Storm Bay (Sechelt Inlet) in the east. 

For counting, this complex area of land, sea and numerous lakes is broken up into smaller areas, each of which is allocated to a group of counters. We plan to have at least five expert-led crews, three of which will spend part of the day on boats.

Although it is a Pender Harbour Wildlife Society-sponsored event, members of the Sunshine Coast Natural History Society take part every year and also provide many of the group leaders. There are participants from outside these organizations as well.

We welcome those who have come in the past as well as those joining us for the first time. Expertise at identification is not required for participation in the count. All that is needed is an interest in birds and a desire to learn more about which ones are around at this time of year.

Bring binoculars or a spotting scope if you have them. Lunch and warm clothes are recommended as participants will be outdoors. In other words, dress for the weather, especially for anyone going out on the boats (they have heated cabins but best viewing is from outside decks).

The day ends with a warm meal at a local restaurant where birders tally up the day’s count and exchange stories of the day’s unusual sightings.

You can also take part in the count at home by monitoring your home bird feeder on the day of the count.

To register for the annual Christmas bird count, the home feeder count and for additional information regarding routes and after-the-count dinner please email


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