Bird Counts: Citizen Science

Bird counting is a citizen science activity. It involves the participation of volunteer bird watchers who observe birds, count them, and compile the results to feed bird databases. It is a way to contribute to scientific knowledge to better understand the distribution areas of species, their behavior, their reproduction, their habitat, to monitor populations and thus to collaborate in species conservation programs.

To access the website of each event, click on the title of the event.

The Grand Défi QuébecOiseaux is the most important ornithological activity in Quebec. As part of the World Migratory Bird Day, the Regroupement QuébecOiseaux is challenging birdwatchers in Quebec to identify as many species of birds as possible from a fixed point within a 24-hour period, without leaving a circle  of 10 meters in diameter. The objective of the Grand Défi QuébecOiseaux is to raise public awareness of bird watching and conservation and to hold a fundraising campaign dedicated to the conservation of birds and their habitats.

Each group chooses its own objectives and date. The next edition of the Grand Défi will be held between May 1 and 31, 2024. Register from 15 March. To know more .

The GBBC is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of populations. Watch birds for 15 minutes or more, at least once over the four days. Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, from beginning bird watchers to experts. Participants upload their data to eBird. The Great Backyard Bird Count is a joint program of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society, with Birds Canada as the Canadian partner 

The last GBBC was held February 16-19, 2024. Be on the lookout for dates in 2025.

SwiftWatch is a Citizen Science program in which volunteers locate and monitor chimneys used by Chimney Swifts each year. Through SwiftWatch, volunteers and community members are filling critical information gaps and addressing key threats. COBM is collaborating with Environment and Climate Change Canada to inventory Chimney Swifts at two large chimney stacks known on the COBM territory. More chimneys will be added in spring 2024. This involves counting Chimney Swifts that enter a dormitory chimney on set dates. The activity takes place in the evening at sunset. To know more

In collaboration with the Granby Zoo conservation team, the COBM is also planning to locate the nesting chimneys used by Chimney Swifts as nesting sites. To find out more about how to protect the Chimney Swift nesting site .

Swift Watch (dormitory chimneys) normally takes place in May and June. The inventory dates for 2024 are Wednesday 22 May, Sunday 26 May, Thursday 30 May and Monday 3 June. The list of dates and locations for the nesting chimneys inventory is forthcoming. If you see a Chimney Swift entering or leaving a chimney, or if you need any information, contact the COBM’s Projets Conservation coordinator for COBM, Jacques Lavallée

  • Dormitory chimneys:
– École St-Léon, 201 boul Davignon, Cowansville. Person in charge to be confirmed.
– La Règle, 21 rue Champagnat, Bedford. oerson in charge: Louise Lalumière with André Bernard.
– A chimney will be inventoried in Sutton. Person in charge: Lise Brassard with Jason Campbell.
– We will try to locate the dormitory chimney(s) in Farnham. Person in charge Jacques Lavallée.

  • Nesting chimneys:
–  We’ll be on the lookout for nesting chimneys in Farnham. Person in charge: Jacques Lavallée in collaboration with the Granby Zoo Conservation team.

The objective of the Chimney Swift Chimney Restoration Fund is to help maintain nesting and roosting sites for swifts by providing financial support for the restoration of human-made structures (such as chimneys) considered important to the species in Canada. The Fund is a program initiated by Birds Canada with financial support from Environment and Climate Change Canada and the support and advice of various partners, including QuébecOiseaux

Any owner of a chimney (or conservation organization on behalf of a homeowner) can apply for financial support for a chimney (or other structure) that Chimney Swifts are known to use for nesting or roosting, and which is in need of repair. For more information, see the Birds Canada media release and the Chimney Swift Chimney Restoration Fund’s  website. Pass the information on to chimney owners who may benefit from it. 

QuébecOiseaux manages the monitoring of bird populations at risk: Suivi des populations d’oiseaux en péril du Québec (SOS-POP). The program aims to identify the important sites for conservation of birds at risk in our region and to monitor them over the years. The data received is integrated into the Quebec birds at risk database and the Centre de données sur le patrimoine naturel du Québec. Each year the priority sites and species are determined in order to guide the efforts of the participants.

To participate in the program by conducting an inventory, you can fill out the form on the QuébecOiseaux website .  Priority species to be inventoried during the 2024 season will be announced shortly. Click here for a list of species with special status in Quebec . For more information, contact your SOS-POP coordinator for COBM, Bertrand Hamel.  

For a list of citizen science birding programs in Quebec (select the province at the bottom right) .