Dozens of birdwatchers counted more than 100 different bird species in the Chilliwack area last month during the 113th Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC).
Thirty-two route counters and 15 feeder watchers observed 102 species between Cul-tus Lake in the south and Harrison Bay in the north on Dec. 15. Another five species were spotted during that week. A total of 41,155 individual birds were counted.
Fewer birds, but more species, were seen in 2012, compared to 2011, when 65,978 individuals and 93 species were observed.
Five rare birds that had not been spotted in the last four counts were seen. Those birds were a western tanager, a Lapland longspur, a slaty-back gull, a swamp sparrow and a pine grosbeak. A mountain chickadee and a northern pygmy owl were also spotted during the count week.
Birdwatchers again saw few owls this year; and two woodland birds-the pileated woodpecker and ruffed grouse-were not spotted at all during the count.
Since the Chilliwack count started 35 years ago in the winter of 1978-79, birdwatchers have found a total of 155 confirmed and five unconfirmed species in the Chilliwack area.