Skip to main content

losing ground

Counters track bird populations

, The Hamilton Spectator,
(Dec 24, 2008)

Hamilton bird watchers will cover a little less ground during the annual Christmas Bird Count Dec. 26.

The birders, participating in the local count for the Hamilton Naturalists Club (HNC), walked 198 kilometres last year to tally 64,054 birds.

But Tom Thomas, the HNC's count co-ordinator, says the counters may cover less distance this year. "Urban sprawl" -- subdivision and road construction within the designated 24-kilometre radius for the count centred on Dundurn Castle -- has steadily reduced grasslands, fields and habitat.

"The owlers (those who count owls) have a tough time hearing the birds because of traffic," Thomas says.

Nevertheless, he expects 70 or 80 counters to turn out for the species count on Boxing Day for the challenge of finding birds, a walk in the fresh air and a love of the environment in the field.

Begun in 1921, the Hamilton count is part of the 109th annual count for naturalists across the continent. The annual one-day count is done between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5.

Forty Ontario Nature member groups will participate across the province this year.

The event began in New York in 1900 when ornithologist Frank Chapman, editor of Bird-Lore magazine, suggested naturalists count birds Christmas Day instead of gathering and shooting them, which had been the prevailing tradition. The idea took hold instantly.

Today there are more than 2,000 individual counts scheduled throughout North America. The data collected has been invaluable for the study of species risk and is used by biologists around the world to monitor the populations of North American birds.

Thomas notes the Hamilton count has been seeing record numbers of common garden and woodland species. They've noticed warblers "staying over" as temperatures during winter have warmed.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Where did the water go? Art action in Lot M Parking

West Campus Eco-Art Project  A walking activity and site activation on McMaster’s West Campus.  West Campus Eco-Art Project is a project that incorporates creative walking activities and an artistic site activation connected with the West Campus Redesign Initiative at McMaster University. The initiative provides opportunities for connecting with nature through an on-line informational video, walking excursions and creative activities that deepen knowledge and experience with place in all its complexities (social history, citizen science, ecology and diversity).  Focusing on the Coldwater creek valley on McMaster’s West Campus, participants will learn about the history and unique features of the area and will be invited to then engage with the site through observation, sketching and stencil-making. Stencils will be used to paint text and image on the parking lot asphalt to delineate a blue line that marks an historic water route.  The project is supported by the McMaster Museum of Art (

McMaster's Parking Problem: Next Level

I'm sharing a recent article published in the Dundas Star News about McMaster's plan to build a - get this - $17-million dollar parking structure. Seventeen million. Yes, $17,000,000.00 That's a lot of money to provide temporary shelter for vehicles of people who choose to drive to campus. We will be following this closely. Here's the article.  Cootes Drive six-storey McMaster University parking garage under review Variances or amendment to zoning bylaw expected to permit parking structure Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News, Friday, March 5, 2021 Zoning bylaw variances, or amendments, could be required for a planned six-storey, 567-space McMaster University parking garage west of Cootes Drive, and north of Thorndale Crescent. University spokesperson Michelle Donavon said the $17-million structure on parking lot K at Westaway Road will help ongoing efforts to re-naturalize parts of the west campus, by moving some surface parking into the structure. “These plans will increa

Binkley's Pond, gone for parking

Jacob Binkley (1806-67), great grandson of Marx [Binkley], built the handsome stone house that still stands at 54 Sanders Blvd at the head of a ravine. The house was completed in 1847 and named Lakelet Vale, as it had a little spring-fed lake at the rear. Binkley's Pond, as it was known, was used for skating, fishing, and good times. It is now the Zone 6 parking lot at McMaster University on the west side of Cootes Drive. Loreen Jerome, The Way We Were "The House that Jacob Built" Ainslie Wood/Westdale Community Association of Resident Homeowners Inc. (AWWCA) http://www.awwca.ca/articles/ Skater's on Binkley's Pond circa 1917, now a McMaster parking lot