Eagle Point Team Smashes Previous Bird Census Records!

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Our seventh year participating in Global Big Day is one for the record books!

The smoky conditions made birding more challenging this year – visibility at Willey West Campground was especially poor, as was Buck Lake.  Smoke or no, 33 people scoured fields, forests, creeks, backyards, neighbourhoods, ponds and river edges from dawn to darkness, looking for birds!  Thank you to our amazing volunteer citizen scientists, we SMASHED our old record of 90 species this year! Our final number of bird species seen was 107, counted via 44 checklists.

Rita Fowell submitted the earliest checklist, beginning at 4:45 am at the Pembina Nordic Centre. The last checklist ended at 9:52 pm in Clearwater County, west of Alder Flats (Kathy Schwengler) for a total of 17 hours and 7 minutes of bird watching! Our combined efforts produced a count of over 2200 birds.


Some of the cool birds that we saw – Barred (Drayton Valley) and Great Grey Owls (Alder Flats/Buck Lake), Black and White Warbler (Pembina Nordic Centre), Turkey Vulture (Hwy 759), Northern Waterthrush (Alder Flats and Blue Rapids), Wilson’s Warbler (Drayton Valley), Peregrine Falcon (Willey West), Golden Eagle (Evansburg area), Common Nighthawk (Easyford) and so many more.

Red-winged blackbird was our most common bird of the day – we logged 163 of them! Robins came in second at 105 individuals.


Some birds we normally see on Global Big Day were absent this year – American Pelican, American Redstart, Hooded and Common Mergansers, Horned and Pie Billed Grebes, Bank and Northern Rough Winged Swallows, Swainson’s Thrush, etc.

Click to view our Eagle Point Bird Count 2024 Final Results

As an added bonus, birders reported seeing other wildlife, including a black bear, a lynx, 3 beavers, too many chipmunks to count, several red squirrels, and white tailed deer!

Our bird count data was submitted to e-Bird (Cornell Lab of Ornithology) as part of Global Big Day. Over 1.3 million people counted birds across the planet on May 11, documenting 7725 different species! The top country for species was Colombia, at 1526 species. Canadian Birders documented 403 species.

We saw a few birds that were flagged as rare birds by e-bird, so only birds with an accurate description, photo or audio were kept on our submitted lists.


Next year, we will once again offer a training sessionon the e-Bird app for those of you who want to move your checklist to a digital version.  Our Hello Birds! Festival to include some new activities – we’re thinking of Birds & Breakfast and Birds & Brews!

We want to thank Obsidian Energy Drayton Valley for sponsoring our Citizen Science programs, including the Hello Birds! Festival of Events (including the bird count) and our upcoming Eagle Point Moth Ball.

Happy Birding! See you on the trails!