The photo of a Northern Pygmy Owl was taken a few weeks ago at Alkali Lake by Sandy Proulx. Three of these owls were recorded on last year's Christmas bird count.

The photo of a Northern Pygmy Owl was taken a few weeks ago at Alkali Lake by Sandy Proulx. Three of these owls were recorded on last year's Christmas bird count.

Williams Lake Christmas Bird Count this Sunday

The Williams Lake Field Naturalists (WLFN) will be holding their 48th annual Christmas Bird Count this Sunday, Dec. 20.

The Williams Lake Field Naturalists (WLFN) will be holding their 48th annual Christmas Bird Count this Sunday, Dec. 20.

The count history began in the U.S. in 1900 but was not taken up locally until 1969 when 414 birds of 21 species were counted.

In the last 10 years the count has averaged more than 4,000 birds of 52 species.

Last year was a little below average with more than 3,000 birds of 46 species, but each year will be different depending on variables such as weather conditions in the preceding weeks and on count day; snow and ice conditions which will determine availability and accessibility of food supply, and the numbers of observers in the field.

Many of our wintering birds supplement their food supply at bird feeders and the count relies to a great extent on reports from people within the count area to report what they find on count day, or who can let us know where their feeders are so we can include them in the count.

The count circle extends 12 kilometres from the centre of Williams Lake.

If you would like to participate in the count or report the birds at your feeder, please call Phil Ranson at 250-398-7110 or email: ranson1@telus.net or phone Fred McMechan after 5 p.m. on count day at 250-392-7680.