When it comes to counting winter birds, time can really fly.
Brandon’s 32nd official Christmas Bird Count is coming up quickly — it will take place on Sunday, Dec. 16.
The bird count is a day set aside for participants to count and identify as many species of birds as possible within a designated count area, which is always a 12-kilometre radius circle.
This circle is then divided into several segments, with each segment being covered by a field party.
Coverage is obtained by walking and driving around and through your count area keeping track of total kilometres driven and walked. You record all the species of birds you identify and their approximate numbers.
However, you don’t have to drive about or brave the elements to be involved in the count and contribute valuable information.
If you have bird feeders around your home, you can participate as a feeder watcher.
Simply record the highest number of birds seen of each species coming to your feeders at any time throughout the count day.
Over the years we’ve found that some of the day’s best sightings often occur at feeders.
Then, at day’s end, all participants meet, have a potluck meal and compile their day’s observations.
The Brandon Christmas Bird Count is really a good excuse to get outside, get some exercise, fresh air and have some friendly competition and comradeship.
To register or for additional information on this or other bird counts in Manitoba, contact Cal Cuthbert at 729-3504 day or 727-2239 evenings.