Gloved hands gripping binoculars, fluffy winter jackets fully zipped up, and booted feet tromping through the snow – a dozen people gathered at Wascana Centre for the Christmas bird count for kids on Sunday.
Bird counts are done every year across Canada. They’re meant to keep track of types of birds in certain areas, to allow scientists to identify any issues or trends around bird distribution.
This is the first year Nature Saskatchewan has gotten kids involved.
“It’s really about engaging youth and children in bird identification and, kind of, fostering new naturalists,” explained Lacey Weekes. “Getting youth more involved in outdoor activities, in naturalist activities, and citizen science.”
After a quick introduction and instruction on how to spot and identify birds, the groups of parents and kids bundled up and headed out into the cold.
Rebecca Magnus was there with her four-year-old son, who, she said, is really starting to get into birds.
“We live near the lake, and this is perfect opportunity to expand on our knowledge of what all the birds are that we’re seeing when we’re walking around the lake.”
Magnus works with Nature Saskatchewan. She loves birds and wildlife, and brought her son to pass on that love.
“While we are familiar with the Canadian geese, and some of the ducks that we have here, it’s really nice to know, like, what’s up in the trees, what are we seeing, not just in the water, but everywhere else.”
The event finished with a presentation from the Saskatchewan Falconers Association.