Christmas Bird Count for Kids an opportunity to spot hundreds of species

Young bird enthusiasts spotted fowl of all sizes at the annual Christmas Bird Count for Kids Saturday — everything from chickadees to bald eagles.

In Stanley park children can hunt for everything from chickadees to bald eagles

If you're lucky you may spot a bald eagle during the Christmas Bird Count in Stanley Park. (M. Schmidt)

Young bird enthusiasts hunted fowl of all sizes at the annual Christmas Bird Count Saturday in Stanley Park — everything from chickadees to bald eagles.

The bird count is a 115-year old tradition and there are hundreds of bird species to see in the area, said Celina Starnes, with the Stanley Ecology Society.

It's a chance for children to run around outside, but it's also an opportunity to appreciate nature.

"After doing the Christmas Bird Count, I'm hoping a lot of these children will come away with a heightened appreciation for all the little species that are out there around them."

Starnes says Stanley Park is the perfect place for a bird count because of its complex ecosystem and its location on the pacific flyway.

"We'll invite the children out into the park, we have a little intro session, how to identify the most common birds. Then we get out, count as many as we can, come back in, serve some hot chocolate, and do a tally of all the different species we spotted."

The best way to look for birds is to use your ears, said Starnes.

Here are a few examples of birds you may see during the Christmas Bird Count:

Pine siskin

The pine siskin is similar in size to the chickadee, but more delicate and streamline in shape, according to Celina Starnes with the Stanley Park Ecology Society. (L. Gertsman)

Black capped chickadee

The black capped chickadee is easy to spot with its striking black and white head, says Celina Starnes with the Stanley Park Ecology Society. (M. Schmidt )

Song sparrow

Song sparrows, like other small birds, like to hide where there is a lot of forest cover, says Celina Starnes with the Stanley Park Ecology Society. (S. McCann)

Varied thrush

The varied thrush is closely related to the robin, says Celina Starnes with the Stanley Park Ecology Society. (D. Enright)

The course is free and people can register on the Stanley Park Ecology Society website.


To listen to the full audio, click the link labelled: Bird counting for kids at Stanley Park.

With files from Margaret Gallagher

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