Skip to content

VIDEO: Counting birds at Brydon Lagoon to close out the year

Sixth annual event organized by Langley-based Explore Science Club

It was “perfect” weather for a bird count, according to Nehal Saleh, organizer of the annual tally at Langley City’s Brydon Lagoon on Saturday, Dec. 30.

”It’s overcast and cool enough for the birds come out, but not too cold,” Saleh remarked, as she guided more than two dozen kids and parents who brought cameras, telescopes and binoculars to the pathway that circles the lagoon.

It was the sixth annual count conducted by the Langley-based Explore Science Club founded by Saleh, who described the free event as an exercise in citizen science.

“We counted 389 individuals, which is low compared to previous years,” Saleh said.

“In total we counted 17 species including a Cooper’s Hawk and Northern Flickers. Blackbirds were absent this year.”

It was a chance for participants to see local wildlife and help create scientific records for a Canada-wide study, with the data submitted to Bird Studies Canada to identify significant bird population changes and help direct conservation planning.

The Birds Canada Christmas count is part of a tradition stretching back to 1900 that typically takes place in 2,000 locations with data being collected by thousands of volunteers.

Birds Canada is the country’s only national organization dedicated to bird conservation with a stated mission “to drive action to increase the understanding, appreciation, and conservation of birds in Canada.”

Brydon Lagoon at 5257 19th St., and its surrounding trails, is a designated nature park that provides a diverse habitat for birds and is accessible all year round.

READ ALSO: Blustery day for Christmas bird counters on waterfront

For Saleh, a fun part was fielding questions from the kids.

“How do you tell if a bird is male and female? What do birds eat? How they survive in the winter?” were some of the queries directed her way.

“Lots of curiosity,” Saleh commented.

Explore Science Club offers other nature-inspired, hands-on science enrichment programs for children aged three and up, ranging from its annual paper airplane contest to a science-based magic show.

READ ALSO: Langley science club hosts 3rd annual paper airplane contest

Club programs aim to “boost confidence in the sciences while sharpening critical thinking skills and sparking creativity,” the Explore Science Club website says.

Saleh, a self-described “busy mother of two energetic children” is a science educator who has a PhD focusing on how sensory input effects learning outcomes, and has published six papers in peer-reviewed journals

More information about the club can be found at its website or Facebook page.

Dan Ferguson

About the Author: Dan Ferguson

Best recognized for my resemblance to St. Nick, I’m the guy you’ll often see out at community events and happenings around town.
Read more