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BIRDWATCH: Winter Waterfowl Count participants brave frigid temperatures

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The Winter Waterfowl Count, usually held during the first week of January, is perhaps the coldest event in which the Pembroke Area Field Naturalists participate. This year, the count was held on Saturday, Jan. 12. The weather was sunny, with a cold, bitter wind. Ten diehard birders attended the event, one fewer participant than the record year of 2008.

Basically, the count consists of a one-day count of waterfowl in various water locations in our area. Originally, the club was able to cover only the area between Rapids-Des Joachim’s and Westmeath. For the past two years, however, the count has included Lapasse and parts of the Bonnechere and Madawaska area that are within a 50-kilometre circle around Pembroke. The results of the count are forwarded to the Ministry of Natural Resources and then merged with the North America Mid-Winter Waterfowl Survey compiled by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a continental perspective.

One has to give the participants in the event full credit as usually they experience cold, inclement weather, and sub-zero temperatures with high wind-chill factors. Also, it is hard to maintain enthusiasm when often only one or two bird........

© Fort McMurray Today