Saturday, December 06, 2008

The 2008 Montreal Christmas Bird Count will be on 20 December

You can find out more about participating by contacting the co-ordinator, Jeff Harrison by Email at: or by telephone in the evening after 8:00 PM at: 514-486-4943.

The last count was held on - Saturday December 15, 2007 [RESULTS]

Each year on a Saturday, usually between December 15 and 21st, Bird Protection Quebec (BPQ) conducts the Montreal Christmas Bird Count (CBC). We held our first count in 1931, and except for four years, we have held counts every year since.

The idea for organizing Christmas Bird Counts originated at the turn of the 20th century. It was initiated by the American ornithologist, Frank Chapman, who organized groups of friends to go out on one day during the Christmas period. Chapman was looking for a way to counter the annual American Christmas bird “shoot”. This informal event was a popular passtime for hunters who competed with each other to see who could shoot the most birds. In those days all birds were targets and the slaughter amounted to many thousands of birds each year. Instead of shooting the birds Chapman instructed his friends to identify and count all the birds they could find. Chapman succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.

Today migratory birds are protected, annual Christmas “shoots” are a distant memory, and hundreds of day counts are now held across North and Central America during a two week period before and after Christmas. To ensure that the historical records were more likely to include all birds in the census area, “Count Week” birds have been added. These are birds which were recorded up to three days before, and three days after the official count day, but not on the day.

Historical Results:
Historical results from the North American Christmas Bird Counts now provide important long-term baseline data on the population dynamics of many early winter species across the continent. You can view these results by visiting the Audubon Christmas Bird Count website at

Local historical bird population trends are also evident in Montreal CBC data which you can view here at the CBC All Species List. There you will find a listing of all species seen on Montreal CBC’s between 1931 and last year. This Table provides information on the first year each species was recorded, the number of years recorded, the record high count, and identifies the record year.

You can find more historical data on our counts by examining the Table entitled Level of Participation 1931 to 2007 which lists the number of participants for each year, the total number of participant hours, and the total number of species recorded each year between 1931 and last year.

The Montreal Count Circle:
Christmas Bird Counts are held within a mandated 24 km. circle. In Montreal this circle is centred at the corner of Sherbrooke Street West and Westminster Avenue in Montreal West. The arc ranges to Chateauguay in the southwest, the St. Lambert Locks in the southeast, Ahunsic in the northeast and Dorval airport and Bois de Liesse in the northwest.

To see a detailed map of our count circle, please click on our Map.

Types of Participation:
If you would like to participate in this years Montreal Christmas Bird Count you can do so either as a Feeder-watcher or Field participant.

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