Skip to main content

losing ground

Counters track bird populations

, The Hamilton Spectator,
(Dec 24, 2008)

Hamilton bird watchers will cover a little less ground during the annual Christmas Bird Count Dec. 26.

The birders, participating in the local count for the Hamilton Naturalists Club (HNC), walked 198 kilometres last year to tally 64,054 birds.

But Tom Thomas, the HNC's count co-ordinator, says the counters may cover less distance this year. "Urban sprawl" -- subdivision and road construction within the designated 24-kilometre radius for the count centred on Dundurn Castle -- has steadily reduced grasslands, fields and habitat.

"The owlers (those who count owls) have a tough time hearing the birds because of traffic," Thomas says.

Nevertheless, he expects 70 or 80 counters to turn out for the species count on Boxing Day for the challenge of finding birds, a walk in the fresh air and a love of the environment in the field.

Begun in 1921, the Hamilton count is part of the 109th annual count for naturalists across the continent. The annual one-day count is done between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5.

Forty Ontario Nature member groups will participate across the province this year.

The event began in New York in 1900 when ornithologist Frank Chapman, editor of Bird-Lore magazine, suggested naturalists count birds Christmas Day instead of gathering and shooting them, which had been the prevailing tradition. The idea took hold instantly.

Today there are more than 2,000 individual counts scheduled throughout North America. The data collected has been invaluable for the study of species risk and is used by biologists around the world to monitor the populations of North American birds.

Thomas notes the Hamilton count has been seeing record numbers of common garden and woodland species. They've noticed warblers "staying over" as temperatures during winter have warmed.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Taking a different direction to protect turtles in Cootes

Here's an easy thing you can do that will benefit at local risk-turtles immediately. It's as simple as taking a different route to bypass Cootes and Olympic Drive. This small choice will mean turtles and other wildlife in Cootes Paradise will have a better chance of surviving from being crushed under your vehicle tires.

Take the pledge: http://bit.ly/ProtectTurtlesCootes
Often you might not even be aware you've hit a young turtle, or a snake, for example, yet in the case of turtles, each death means this at-risk group is one death closer to extirpation. Turtles take a long time to reach maturity, and most hatchlings never make it to adulthood so you can see the dilemma.

Please take a minute to pledge your commitment to use an alternate route, and help Restore Cootes and other groups do their part to protect our reptile friends. A previous survey showed that 70% of respondents would do this for the turtles. Hopefully you will join them!

Thanks in advance for your support!


Loa…

The Social Sciences Take on Lot M!

Guest Blogger: Carly Stephens 
Since its inception, Parking to Paradise has been a platform for interdisciplinary collaboration. Many readers are familiar with the Ancaster Creek riparian buffer and restoration work along the Northwest border of the parking lot. Interested parties across many faculties and disciplines have worked together to restore this ecosystem and raise awareness about the impacts urbanization on the natural environment. Nurtured by the time, commitment and hard work donated by volunteers and students, the land has grown into a site of green infrastructure, ecosystem restoration, and sustainable development. Read about Reyna Matties' Master’s work on retrofitting storm water management systems on the lot in the December 7, 2015 post below. Now, it’s the social sciences turn to learn where green infrastructure developments - as with the case of Lot M - fits into our social world.

My research involves exploring the various roles that green space plays in our urb…

Coldspring Valley History Hike: Water Innovation Week

We're heading back out to share the history of this former floodplain/nature sanctuary, and take a look at the rehabilitated future of this contested site in McMaster's west campus. Can we really depave Paradise? It's happening!

Register on Eventbrite: http://bit.ly/waterweekwalk2017 (by donation)