Getting out into nature is for the birds
For bird enthusiasts that is!
Our NatureHood Partners were busy over the holidays helping kids and families explore nearby nature. From Halifax to Regina to Vancouver, hundreds of kids and families took part in the annual Christmas Bird Count for Kids (CBC4Kids). Inspired by the Christmas Bird Count, CBC4Kids is a fun winter activity and a great way for families to learn more about local urban birds and bird conservation.
Many of our NatureHood partners organized local CBC4Kids events that included nature walks led by volunteer guides to help identify local birds, followed by hot chocolate and snacks for the young citizen scientists to sip when they return. Their findings were then submitting through eBird, an online checklist managed by Bird Studies Canada.
Christmas Bird Counts for Kids are a great way to get kids active outdoors during the winter months and learn more about local winter birds and wildlife found in their area. Spending time in nature year-round will encourage kids to continue to explore the natural world and develop a long-lasting relationship with nature.
Here’s a snapshot of a few of the CBC4Kids events that took place across the country:
The Young Naturalists Club of Nova Scotia held their 5th annual CBC4Kids at Point Pleasant Park in Halifax. They welcomed 100 participants and saw 25 bird species and 350 individual birds. Some kids even had the thrill of a chickadee land on their hand to eat seeds. The biggest excitement came when a bald eagle soared over the group!
Nature Saskatchewan held their annual CBC4Kids at Wascana Lake and had their best turn out yet with 93 participants. The four groups enjoyed the beautiful -5c weather as they counted a total of 12 bird species and 298 individuals. After the count, everyone enjoyed some hot chocolate and snacks as they listened to a presentation from Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation who brought two thirteen lined ground squirrels.
Nature Alberta’s Nature Kids had a great time looking for birds at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre in Red Deer. They started the day playing a bird migration game and then set off on the trails to explore nature. They found 8 different bird species such as Downy woodpeckers and Red-breasted nuthatches. They also found other animal signs such as, nests, moose droppings, and squirrel middens! (fun fact: squirrel middens is the mess they leave after eating).
NatureKids BC along with its partners held their 8th annual CBC4Kids at Stanley Park in Vancouver with 100 keen birdwatchers of all ages. Participants were led through a bird identification training session prior to the count to help identify the birds they saw. Here is a lovely message that was sent their way following the bird count:
“Our family had a wonderful time at the Christmas Bird Count at Stanley Park. We sincerely appreciated all of the care that went into putting this day together. The facilitators were extremely kind to us, we loved the activities/snacks, and we truly enjoyed going out for the count with our enthusiastic and joyful group leader. Thank you very much for your work in putting this together for all of us!“
With sincere gratitude,
Jen, Dylan, Nala & Makaio