Sudbury’s trails filled with the fluttering of little hearts and little wings Sunday, as Conservation Sudbury and the Sudbury Ornithological Society’s celebrated their sixth annual Christmas Bird Count for Kids.
This year, guides from the Sudbury Ornithological Society were joined by 34 nature enthusiasts, eager to learn about and observe the different bird species of the region. Participants were able to count 408 individual birds on the snowy trails of Lake Laurentian, Moonlight Beach and Fielding Park, and a record of 17 bird species.
These bird species were trumpeter swan, American black duck, mallard duck, ruffed grouse, bald eagle, rock pigeon, downy woodpecker, hairy woodpecker, pileated woodpecker, Canada jay, blue jay, American crow, common raven, black-capped chickadee, red-breasted nuthatch, white-breasted nuthatch and the common redpoll.
Among these 34 birders were Natalie Chaylt and her family, who have begun to introduce the Christmas Bird Count for Kids as part of their holiday traditions. “It’s a big thing for the kids — we enjoy the outdoors four seasons of the year so this is a good way to do some winter activities,” said her husband Bob Robinson.
And if you asked their son Robbie what brought him to the trails that day, well he would tell you it is “just because these birds are so cute.”
The Christmas Bird Count for Kids is just one of many events hosted by Conservation Sudbury throughout the year, to encourage environmental consciousness and an appreciation for nature.
Conservation Sudbury’s environmental education program manager, Daniela Stewart, believes that in addition to providing an opportunity for “kids to get involved in citizen science and feel like they can do something that’s important to science,” this event helps families “recognize the importance of birds to the environment.”