iN PHOTOS: North Okanagan bird count sees numbers fall | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Current Conditions

Mostly Cloudy
9.6°C

Vernon News

iN PHOTOS: North Okanagan bird count sees numbers fall

The annual North Okanagan Naturalists’ Club swan and eagle count have reported a significant drop in the number of swans counted this year.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/North Okanagan Naturalists’ Club/Claude Rioux
January 22, 2021 - 2:30 PM

The annual North Okanagan Naturalists’ Club swan and eagle count have reported a significant drop in the number of swans counted this year.

The annual swan count, now in its 41st year, took place Jan. 17 and saw 21 volunteer bird observers participate in the count. The observers covered an area roughly stretching from Oyama to Mara Lake and Sicamous, and from Ellison Provincial Park to the south end of Mabel Lake.

The observers counted 57 trumpeter swans, down from 148 in 2020. Of the 57 counted, 12 were cygnets, juvenile swans.

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/North Okanagan Naturalists’ Club/Claude Rioux

The volunteers counted 124 eagles, of which 30 were juvenile. Of the 124 counted, four were golden eagles seen in the Lavington, Lumby, and Mabel Lake area. The number of eagles observed was also down from 2020 when 148 eagles were observed.

The specific reason why the numbers are down is not yet known, the temperature on Jan. 17 ranged from 0 Celsius to 4 C with patches of low fog occurring from Lumby to Mabel Lake and north of Vernon to Sicamous. It's thought these mild temperatures may be a factor.

North Okanagan Naturalists' Club secretary said normally the swans flock to larger lakes and rivers in the winter as their summertime habitats become frozen. But as this winter has been so mild, it's suggested that the birds may have stayed outside the surveyed area on bodies of water that ordinarily would be frozen.

The collected data will now be summarized by a Kamloops-based biologist. Previously, the data from the annual count has been used by undergraduate students in their fields of study.

The annual count started in the Kamloops Thompson River area in the 1970s and then expanded to the North Okanagan and Shuswap as well as Merritt and Prince George. The swan count started 41 years ago, while the eagle count was added 27 years ago.

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/North Okanagan Naturalists’ Club/Claude Rioux

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/North Okanagan Naturalists’ Club/Claude Rioux

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2021
iNFOnews

  • Popular penticton News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile