Hello Birds! We’re Celebrating Migration with a Festival of Activities!

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Our Annual Bird Count is quickly approaching! Our Bird Count coincides with World Migratory Bird Day!

This year, we are leading up to our Eagle Point Bird Count with a Festival of Bird Focused events! We’d like to thank Obsidian Energy Ltd for sponsoring our Citizen Science programs this year!

Activity #1 on May 2 at 6:00 pm

Bird Movie at the Drayton Valley Library!

The Drayton Valley Library will kick off our Hello Birds! Festival with the movie “The Big Year” starring Owen Wilson, Jack Black and Steve Martin.  This comedy is based on the true life of Mark Obmascik who competes with others to count the most bird species in U.S.A and Canada in one year.

Activity #2 on May 3 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Hello Birds! Kick Off Event at the Pembina Nordic Centre.

Learn about Birding Apps for your phone, try out different binoculars and spotting scopes, go for a birding walk with birders Rita & Kathy and end the evening with a game of Bird Trivia and Snacks.

Activity #3 on May 9 at 7:30 pm at the Pembina Nordic Centre

Tracking American Kestrels Across the Continents! A Presentation by Chuck Priestley, M.Sc., P.Biol.

The American Kestrel is North America’s smallest and most colourful falcon.  Unfortunately, Kestrel population declines have been detected across their range.  Conservation efforts made for kestrels would benefit a range of wildlife including songbirds, upland game birds, ungulates, and many others.

Join Alberta Kestrel Project lead Chuck Priestley at the Pembina Nordic Centre for a presentation on the amazing American Kestrel and the research he’s involved in.

What the Alberta Kestrel Project is doing:

The Alberta Kestrel Project has placed Kestrel nest boxes in good habitat, such as near pasture and open areas. Cameras are used at these nests to learn about Kestrel prey use in central Alberta. The Kestrels are fitted with trackers to follow their movements during the breeding, migration, and winter seasons. Last year, they tracked the movements of our Alberta-breeding Kestrels as they migrated through the United States, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and beyond!

How you can get involved: Please share your Kestrel sightings with us. You could host a Kestrel family with a nestbox – please contact us for nest box design information. To hear about how you can attend and participate in our events, such as banding young at nestboxes, please follow us on Instagram @alberta_kestrel_project and at our Facebook page Alberta Kestrel Project or send us an email to info@STRIXeco.ca.

Alberta Kestrel Project partners (ordered alphabetically):

  • Alberta Conservation Association
  • Lafarge Canada
  • Local Landowner Partners
  • STRIX Ecological Consulting
  • Town of Tofield

Activity #4 on May 11

Eagle Point Bird Count (aka Global Big Day)

Eagle Point Bird Checklist

50 Birds of Eagle Point and Blue Rapids Parks BROCHURE

Eagle Point-Blue Rapids Parks Species List

This year marks our 7th year for our Annual Bird Count in and around our two parks!  Every year, volunteers count in their backyard, neighbourhood or out on the trails for as little as 15 minutes to as long as they have the stamina! (Can you count for 24 hours?).    As part of our bird count, we have a planned tour of various habitats in and outside of the park that we visit.  Birders (beginners and pros) are invited to join us on the tour! See details on our Eagle Point Bird Count event page.

Each volunteer shares their bird count data to our Eagle Point team, and that data is shared to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology as part of a worldwide collaborative event.  The data is used to monitor migration patterns, global bird population trends and more!

Past year counts for our Eagle Point Team.

  • 2018 – 42 species
  • 2019 – 55 species
  • 2020 – 90 species
  • 2021 – 54 species
  • 2022 – 82 species
  • 2023 – 90 species
  • Our First Annual Count in 2018!

Activity #5 – Vote for Eagle Point Bird of 2024

Our local bird nerds (Kathy, Brian and Rita) have selected their personal 10 favorite species and we’ve taken the top 5 out of their lists. We want you to vote for your favorite!  Text your vote to 780-542-1932 or email your vote to outreach@epbrparkscouncil.org by May 11 at 7:oo am so we can count your votes!

Here’s 2024’s top 5 Birds of Eagle Point:

  1. Peregrine Falcon
  2. Western Tanager
  3. Great Gray Owl
  4. Black-Capped Chickadee
  5. Pileated Woodpecker