A purple finch was among the 66 species of birds spotted during the annual Christmas Bird Count held in Langley on Dec. 28. The count was part of the annual North America-wide Audubon count. Among the local highlights was the appearance of an Anna’s hummingbird.

Bird count nets 66 species

More than 6,700 birds spotted in Langley during annual Christmas count — part of North America-wide Audubon initiative

On Sunday, Dec. 28,  2014,  the Langley Field Naturalists took part in the 115th annual North American-wide Audubon Christmas Bird Count, with more birds counted than last year and some exciting sightings of a golden eagle, barn and great horned owls.

The final results show a consistency with previous years, said organizers of the count, which included Langley and White Rock.

The number of birds was slightly up to 6,705 from last year’s 6,661. The number of species counted is 66, down slightly from last year’s 67.

Looking more closely at the species, the most amazing bird seen is the Anna’s hummingbird.

The first ever Anna’s were included in the 2012 count when three hummingbirds were counted and again three were counted in 2013, said LFN Kathy Masse.

“This year, we counted an amazing 21 of these tiny birds that are now wintering in our region,” said Masse.

“This year we have our first record ever of a golden eagle. One lucky team also saw both a barn owl and a great horned owl,” said Masse.

The team members congregated at their regular meeting spot, the ABC Restaurant on Glover, for final organization and a hot coffee, before heading out at 8 a.m. for a full day of surveying Langley’s birds.

They were divided into five teams made up of 28 LFNers and friends to cover the area. The ages of participants ranged from two knowledgeable kids, a teenager, all the way up to seniors, working together to record the birds.

As part of the Surrey/White Rock count, the Langley portion of the count was bordered by 40 Ave. and 200 Street and the freeway and 238 Street.

The teams covered both urban and rural areas, noting both species of birds and their numbers.

For the day, the accumulated distance of driving was 179.1 km and for walking was 34 km. A lot of ground was covered.

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