Nature Canada

Partner Spotlight: Peterborough Field Naturalists

We’d like to take this opportunity to highlight the work of our colleagues at Peterborough Field Naturalists! On December 20th, 2020, they are sponsoring the 69th Peterborough Christmas Bird Count (CBC): A Christmas Tradition – the longest running wildlife survey in Peterborough County. 

The community science event is entirely run by as many as 80 dedicated volunteers. Teams of volunteers cover a circular “bird count area” with a diameter of 24 kilometers following the protocol outlined by the National Audubon Society and Birds Studies Canada. It’s an opportunity to spend the day in nature and see how many birds are around at the start of winter.

The event also provides long-term insight into the changes in bird populations. For example, the Northern Cardinal has been expanding its range northwards through Ontario since the early 1990’s. It was not recorded on any Peterborough counts held in the 1950’s and on only two counts in the 1960’s. Now, it is a species that is observed annually, averaging around 175 individuals. On the other hand, the number of American Kestrels has declined over the decades.

This is the 121st year that the CBCs are being held across North America. Join this Christmas Birding Tradition in your local area and be sure to follow public health measures to ensure the safety of all.

Northern Cardinal Bird

Peterborough, Ontario, is also the site of a newly-formed Bird Team. Established this fall, the Peterborough Bird Team consists of members from the Peterborough Field Naturalists; Camp Kawartha; Kawartha Wildlife Centre; Green UP; and Riverview Park and Zoo. The overarching goal of the bird team is to support Peterborough in becoming certified as a Bird-Friendly City by May of 2022. 

“Community Science” is another term for “Citizen Science” – distinguishing amateur or crowd sourced data from professional scientists. The term citizen can be interpreted to exclude people without citizenship. In addition, participation in such events are communal experiences that bring together like-minded communities which is captured in the term “Community Science”.

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Canada’s wilderness is the world’s envy. It’s our duty to keep our true north strong and green.