2019 Christmas Bird Count

Thanks to Glenelm resident Natalie Reinhart for contributing this wonderful article and photo, and our apologies for the delay in running it!

This year the Christmas Bird Count, also known as the CBC, was held on December 15, 2019. A brisk day found my husband Brent and I bundled up, walking the streets of Glenelm counting birds as part of this annual event. This was our first CBC, and we were thrilled to cover the community where we live with the expert advice and help of Richard Staniforth, who has done the CBC in Glenelm for roughly the last 15 years. 

Our day started with the help of fellow-CBCers Anne and Jan, where we prowled Elmwood Cemetery.  We expected the Cemetery to yield a greater number of birds given the large mature trees, but were disappointed by the relatively low numbers of birds seen.  Regardless, Brent and I trekked on, hopeful with what we might see in the remainder of the Glenelm area. We were happy to see the usual suspects: Black-capped Chickadees, White-Breasted Nuthatches, Downy Woodpeckers, Hairy Woodpeckers, and even the birds that can be considered a little ‘less exciting’: Common Ravens, Rock Pigeons, House Sparrows, and European Starlings. Unfortunately, we did not spot any rarities.

We took a mid-morning break (and warm-up!) at Richard and Diana Staniforth’s for tea and a snack; we were thrilled to meet them for the first time and hear more about past CBCs. They were both so helpful in sharing past CBC experiences, and we enjoyed their stories of bird antics in the Glenelm community.

The CBC in Winnipeg ends with a potluck and compilation of bird sightings at the Bronx Community Center.  Brent and I were regrettably unable to attend, but we heard it was a good time had by all. The counts from the Winnipeg area this year were unfortunately lower than in years previous. We hope that this was a “one-off” day and are anxious to see what 2020’s CBC brings!  We are excited to be a part of this yearly event and encourage anyone else who may be interested to participate in a CBC or backyard bird count to get involved.

Picture caption: White-breasted nuthatches are year-round residents in Manitoba.  They like eating sunflower seeds, peanuts and suet, especially in winter.  Nuthatches are able to hang upside down from branches, and you’ll often see them stashing seeds under tree bark – saving them for later!

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