Aldergrove resident Herman Van der Leest was among the dozens of volunteer bird watchers who took part in the 120th annual bird count, an event that takes place throughout North America. The 120th annual bird count was conducted in Langley, as well as other areas of the Lower Mainland, on Saturday (Dec. 28).(Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: Drier weather produces larger numbers for 120th annual bird count in Langley

No exotic species spotted, however

As volunteer bird counters formed themselves into teams over early-morning coffee at a local restaurant on Saturday (Dec. 28), one of the organizers, John Gordon, had a request

“If anyone sees a snow owl, let us know,” Gordon said.

He was referring to an especially rare species of bird that had been spotted, and photographed, during a previous count.

READ MORE: Rare bird spotted in Langley

Snowy owls usually make their homes north of 60° latitude in the Arctic tundra, in Alaska, the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Eurasia, but one somehow made ts way south to Langley.

This year, there were no such exotic species to be seen, but there were a lot more of every other kind, thanks to the drier weather.

READ MORE: VIDEO: A very wet Langley Christmas bird count

Organizer Mike Klotz said just over 7,800 birds were observed and 65 species tallies, up from the previous year’s rain-soaked survey, when just under 5,200 birds were counted and only 52 species, well below the average of 6,000 to 7,000.

“A pretty decent year,” is how Klotz summed it up to the Langley Advance Times.

The count is an early-winter bird census by the National Audubon Society, conducted with the help of more than 70,000 volunteers across Canada, the U.S. and many other countries in the Western Hemisphere.

Information collected by participants over the past century are one of only two large pools of data about how birds of the Americas are faring over time.

READ MORE: Birders brave the cold for annual Christmas count

Christmas bird counts in the Lower Mainland are each conducted on a single day between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5.

Each one is organized by a birding club or naturalist organization.

In Langley, the count is part of the larger White Rock/Surrey/Langley count.

More photos from the Langley count can be viewed online.



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

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

 

Bird count organizer John Gordon captured this image near Maxwell Crescent in Milner of an American Kestrel. The 120th annual bird count was conducted in Langley, as well as other areas of the Lower Mainland, on Saturday (Dec. 28).(John Gordon/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Joanne Rosenthal and Bob Puls tally birds. The 120th annual bird count was conducted in Langley, as well as other areas of the Lower Mainland, on Saturday (Dec. 28).(Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

An eagle surveys the intersection of Glover Road and Crush Crescent. The 120th annual bird count was conducted in Langley, as well as other areas of the Lower Mainland, on Saturday (Dec. 28).(Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Just Posted

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse, off duty cop testifies in Langley murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

LOSC members worked out at the Aldergrove outdoor pool on Saturday, Oct. 24 (LOSC/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Swim club ‘broken-hearted’ by Langley Township pool decision

Staff report said it will cost less to reopen WC Blair instead of Walnut Grove

Washington State Department of Agriculture workers, wearing protective suits and working vacuumed a nest of Asian giant hornets from a tree Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. Scientists in Washington state discovered the first nest earlier in the week of so-called murder hornets in the United States and worked to wipe it out Saturday morning to protect native honeybees. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Nest of ‘murder hornets’ found near South Surrey

String of traps set up along border to capture Asian giant hornets

Langley resident Shaun Nugent, who died in 2019 shortly after he saved a swimmer from drowning, has been awarded a posthumous medal for bravery by the Royal Canadian Humane Association (Courtesy Nugent family)
Langley man who died after saving swimmer receives posthumous medal for bravery

Shaun Nugent rescued woman from Hayward Lake near Mission in July of 2019

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Williams Lake Indian Band is stipulating no-go zones for mushroom picking in areas burned by last summer’s wildfires. 100 Mile Free Press photo
Who controls mushroom harvesting on Indigenous lands?

‘We don’t necessarily know where the mushrooms grow, how old the stands need to be, those types of things.’

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada/USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
U.S. election results one factor that could impact immigration to Canada next year

The survey polled 1,523 Canadians between Oct. 23 and Oct. 25

Most Read