South Thompson River Bird Count

Provided by Kamloops Naturalist Club

On a very chilly January day, members of the Kamloops Naturalist Club travelled between Kamloops and Chase to complete the annual swan and eagle count. They tallied 243 Trumpeter Swans, of which only 23 (9%) were juveniles. The juvenile count was well below the 30 year average of 18% but the total count was above average yet far below some of our all time highs of nearly 700 Trumps. We found no Tundra Swans. Swans this year were above the local count of 177 Trumps in 2009. There were 19 adult Bald Eagles in the same area which was well above the 2009 total of 10 for all ages. We found no sub-adults. There seems to be constant changes occurring and such data allows us to see the dynamics of our world. How can we explain the changes? Despite the chilly weather, we had no ice to limit foraging for our swans along the river. Eagle numbers are clearly related to the salmon runs in the South Thompson and Adams rivers. Fish carcasses were all but gone and the eagle population had diminished over the previous month or so. Other waterfowl noted on this day included Canada Goose, Am. Wigeon, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Barrow’s Goldeneye and Common Merganser.

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