Celebrating the Success of the Columbia Wetlands Waterbird Survey

The results of the fall 2018 Columbia Wetlands Waterbird Survey (CWWS) are in!  With the highest bird counts since the project’s inception in 2015, and with the largest number of volunteers participating… this was our best set of bird counts to date with 57,057 birds counted!  105 citizen-scientists observed birds for three hours over three dates from 104 survey stations located between Canal Flats and Donald.  The highest single day count was on October 15th with 20,575 individual birds. The CWWS survey areas covers about 40% of the Columbia Wetlands, which means that many more birds are likely to have been present in the entire ecosystem.

Some of the more interesting bird numbers from this fall include:

·       6,495 American Coots counted on October 5th (highest single-date species count this fall)

·       6,113 American Wigeons counted on October 15th

·       2,917 Mallards on October 15th

·       1,302 Ring-necked Ducks on October 5th

·       150 Tundra/Trumpeter Swans on October 5th (at least 84 were Trumpeter Swans)

·       241 Long-billed Dowitchers on October 5th

·       182 Hooded Mergansers on September 29th

·       At least 84 Horned or Eared Grebes on October 15th (both at risk species in BC)

·       47 Great Blue Herons on September 29th  (at risk species in BC)

·       19 Western Grebes on October 5th (at-risk species in BC)

·       8 Surf Scoters on September 29th (at-risk species in BC)


Are you keen to join the fun and participate in the waterbird surveys?  If so, next year will be your last chance before we nominate the Columbia Wetlands as an ‘Important Bird and Biodiversity Area’ (IBA) using data collected through this project. The 2019 survey dates are April, 3, 10 & 16 and September 29th, October 5 & 15.  Email CWWS Program Biologist at racheldarvill@gmail.com to register, or for more details.