Thursday 25 November 2021

Saskatchewan Christmas Bird Counts 2021

House Finch

In 2020, almost 15,000 people participate in 469 Christmas Bird Counts across Canada. They recorded sightings of more than 3 million birds belonging to 296 different species. The annual count is the longest-running citizen science project in North America (2021 is the 122nd count) and plays an important role in tracking changes in the numbers and varieties of birds in different locations. 

For example, Canada Geese were notable by their absence from the river in Saskatoon in 2020, but participants spotted 2 female or juvenile Hooded Merganser for the first time in 15 years and Gray Partridge were at a 15-year high. House Finch numbers were higher than the previous year but still below the long-term average. House Finch are susceptible to Avian Conjunctivitis; the local population has declined in recent years and has yet to recover. 

In 2019, Saskatchewan participants spotted 126,813 birds, slightly higher than the century average of 125,000. This was partly due to a record high count of 33,735 Canada Geese in Estevan. Rarities included a Pacific Loon, a new species for Saskatchewan, a Double-crested Cormorant at Gardiner Dam, and a Northern Cardinal at Prince Albert. 

There are plenty of opportunities for people to participate in this year’s Christmas Bird Counts. Dates are listed below for Regina and Saskatoon. Elsewhere in the province, we recommend you contact your local nature society. Contact Nature Saskatchewan to find out if there will be a Christmas Bird Count for Kids in Regina.
Double-crested Cormorant

Nature Regina will be organizing the following Christmas Bird Counts. If you are interested in volunteering, contact 

Saturday, December 18 – Craven 
Sunday, December 26 – Regina 
Sunday, January 2 – Balgonie (includes White City and Pilot Butte) 

The Saskatoon Nature Society is organizing the following Christmas Bird Counts in the Saskatoon area. To register for a count, complete the online form on the Saskatoon Nature Society’s website

Saturday, December 18 – Clark’s Crossing (Warman, Martensville, Osler, NE Swale) 
Sunday, December 19 – Qu’Appelle Dam (Elbow) 
Monday, December 27 – Saskatoon (city and south) 
Tuesday, December 28 – Christmas Bird Count for Kids (Saskatoon Young Naturalists
Monday, January 3 – Pike Lake/Chief Whitecap