Warm winter affecting annual N.B. bird count
Warm winter weather in parts of New Brunswick is affecting the annual Christmas bird count.
There are about 2,000 counts that take place across North America between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5.
On Monday, naturalists and bird enthusiasts were tallying species near Quispamsis, one of about 50 count sites in New Brunswick.
Jim Wilson, a naturalist taking part in Monday's count, said the lack of snow and ice has made it more difficult to determine what species are around, since birds aren't dependent on feeders for food.
But he said it's still an important event.
"It's a fun thing for people to get out and do, that's kind of a social thing, and it also contributes to a citizen science project," Wilson told CBC News.
"If you think about 2,000 counts across North America, and put all that information into one database, you can extract a lot of trends out of that."
Wilson said he is hoping to see a turkey vulture.
"That's a bird species that normally we don't get a lot of them at any time. They're quite unusual in New Brunswick, although they're increasing every year," he said.
"But in the last couple of years, they've started to winter over. Last year, we had turkey vultures that stayed right through the winter," he added.
If that happens, it will be the second time ever for this particular count.