| Dec 14, 2016

Two students from North Addington Eduation Centre, Emma Fuller and Cassidy Wilson are taking an online course in environmental resource management this semester. Part of their course work includes setting up and executing an event or program. One of them, Emma Fuller, is an avid birder and came up with the idea of organizing a Christmas Bird Count (CBC) in the local area to tie in to the Audobon Societies 117th annual Christmas Bird Count.

Last year 471 bird counts were done in Canada, and over 1,900 in the United States and another 132 in Latin America. The counts are done in circles with a diameter of 24 kilometres.

The NAEC sponsored count will be centered in Bon Echo Park and will take place next Monday (December 19th) . Fuller and Wilson as well as their sponsoring teacher Beth Hasler will be aided by a Biology class, whose students will spend the day in the park identifying bird species with the help of Bird Guides that they will be carrying. Residents from the region and beyond who are interested in surveying any area within the circle, which extends to Skootamatta and Mazinaw lakes and all points within a 12 kilometre distance from the Centre of Bon Echo Park, are encouraged to call NAEC at 613-336-8991 to coordinate with the student run count. All information that is gathered will be entered into the online reporting tool that the Audobon Society has developed.

For Emma Fuller, who comes from Denbigh, the CBC fits with her growing interest in bird watching, a hobby she shares with her father, and which has brought them to far flung locations over the past year, including a trip to Presqu’ile Park, a migration hot spot on Lake Ontario near Brighton. They have also taken several trips to Wolfe Island and Amherst Island, where they have seen 36 snowy owls, bald eagles, and 5 species of hawk as well.

“The goal of the count is not only to identify birds and help build the Audobon database, but also to  broaden people’s knowledge about things you can do in outdoors,” said Fuller, who intends to apply to the biology department at Trent University this winter, hoping to eventually specialize in ornithology.

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