Residents who maintain bird feeders will contribute by keeping a tally sheet of the species visiting their yards. All participants are encouraged to attend a fun and informal chili dinner at 5:30 pm during which bird numbers will be totaled and stories and photos will be shared.
The event is sponsored by The Friends of Pukaskwa National Park who will provide a prize to each participant as well as a door prize to be drawn at the compilation dinner.
The CBC is the longest running Citizen Science survey in the world. Data collected by tens of thousands of participants throughout the Americas are used by scientists to help monitor our bird populations. In Canada, the counts are administered by Bird Studies Canada. CBC participants (other than children under 18 and those conducting back yard feeder watches) contribute to Bird Studies Canada a $5.00 fee to help offset the cost of administering the program (details here).
Marathon Count Circle
Marathon residents have participated in most years since 1973. Over all years a total of 85 species have been recorded but for each year the average is 25 and no two years are the same. While a handful of common species - Herring Gull, Common Raven, Black-capped Chickadee and European Starling - are seen every year, waterfowl, raptors and winter finches are less predictable. Each year turns up a few surprises.
Bald Eagles are now commonly sighted in Marathon throughout the year but they only began appearing on the CBC in 1994 as the continental population rebounded following the implementation of restrictions on the use of organochlorine pesticides. Northern Cardinal, a very common species in the south, started appearing on our CBC in the late 1980s reflecting an ongoing northward expansion of its range.
Northern Cardinal and Chipping Sparrow
How to Get Involved
- Those wishing to participate in this year's CBC should contact Martha Allen at 229-1319 immediately. Martha will assign each person to a team covering a particular section of the count circle. Those conducting feeder watches will be given a tally sheet for birds visiting their back yards.
- In the morning, each bird counting team will assemble before heading out to count birds in their assigned areas.
- (Optional) Bird counting teams will meet up with each other at noon at Rumours Coffee House & Deli in the Superior Place Mall (2 Ontario Street) to warm up and trade stories before heading back out for the afternoon.
- Tally sheets should be dropped off at 8 Steedman Dr. around 5:30 pm. All are welcome to stay for a bowl of chili, a slide show and a draw for a prize donated by the Friends of Pukaskwa.