This fieldfare, a member of the thrush family, was spotted during the annual Salmon Arm Bird Count on Dec. 16, 2018. This is only the second time the bird, which is native to northern Europe and Asia, had been seen in B.C. (Roger Beardmore photo)

This fieldfare, a member of the thrush family, was spotted during the annual Salmon Arm Bird Count on Dec. 16, 2018. This is only the second time the bird, which is native to northern Europe and Asia, had been seen in B.C. (Roger Beardmore photo)

Chilliwack bird watchers prepare for annual Christmas count

Nature Chilliwack co-ordinates the count and forwards data to the Audubon Society

A holiday tradition for bird lovers returns with the annual Christmas bird count.

The Chilliwack event takes place Saturday (Dec. 19), with approximately 40-50 people fanning out over a massive territory.

Some will be jumping in vehicles and heading into remote areas to see what they can spot. Others will stay closer to home, monitoring bird feeders to see how many flying friends stop by.

The Chilliwack count includes 23 sites.

Denis Knopp of Nature Chilliwack said you don’t need to be a member of the group to take part. You don’t even need to know anything about birds.

RELATED: Christmas bird count includes rare sighting in Chilliwack

Groups heading out into the wilderness typically include an ‘expert,’ someone who knows where to stop and what to look for, accompanied by an ‘observer,’ who helps spot birds. The ‘recorder’ jots down the info and that person can be a total newbie.

”With COVID, we may just have one or two to a vehicle this year, but we’re always looking to bring new people into this,” Knopp said.

As the name suggests, ‘feeder counters’ keep an eye on feeders in a smaller neighborhood area throughout the day, and their job is simply to jot down the maximum number of birds they see.

RELATED: New doves causing a stir in Chilliwack

“If they see five at a feeder in the morning and check back a couple hours later and see 12, they don’t add them together,” Knopp said. “They only put down the maximum birds they see at any one time.”

Data goes to the Audubon Society for use in ‘citizen science.’

“One thing they can see is trends in species moving north,” Knopp said. “We’re starting to see (California) scrub jays now, and we never used to get those ever. They can tell what habitats have been lost by what birds are wintering where. There’s a lot of data for Chilliwack dating back to 1978, and counts have been going on for 121 years. This will be the 122nd year.”

To take part in the bird count, contact Knopp at or call 604-858-5141.

To check out the findings of Christmas Bird Counts past, check out Audubon’s website at

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

/ Kevin Mills Photo
Hundreds participate in solidarity parade for transgender student who was bullied

Cars, horses and even planes passed by the Mission waterfront to show support

Just one of more than 200 cats and kittens who were adopted through the Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven in 2020, despite the pandemic. (Philip Tingey/ Safe Haven)
More than 200 cats and kittens adopted through Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven in 2020

Successful year took place despite of, or perhaps because of, the COVID-19 pandemic

Kent Search and Rescue sent down three rescuers
UPDATE: Two people involved in ATV rollover 100 feet down ravine in Harrison, at least one injured

Incident happened shortly before 5 p.m. on Harrison East Forest Service Road

An amethyst rock was stolen from Swinstones Granite Shop’s showroom in Chilliwack on Yale Rd. West, and they are hoping it will be spotted and returned. They discovered their window smashed and the purple rock stolen on the morning of Jan. 17, 2020. Here a portion of it is pictured to the right. (Submitted image)
Amethyst stolen from Chilliwack stone shop’s showroom

Window smashed at business where purple rock has been on display for nearly 16 years

Alvin (left) and Theodore, seen here at the Chilliwack SPCA on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, are looking for their ‘furever’ home. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Theodore and Alvin at the Chilliwack SPCA

Don’t overlook senior pets when wanting to adopt an animal says Chilliwack SPCA branch manager

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

Pindie Dhaliwal, one of the organizers for the Surrey Challo protest for Indian farmers. She says organizers were told by Surrey RCMP that the event was not allowed due to COVID-19. Organizers ended up moving the protest to Strawberry Hill at the last minute. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Indian farmers rally moves as organizers say Surrey RCMP told them they couldn’t gather

Protest originally planned in Cloverdale, moved to Strawberry Hill

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Most Read