One of North America’s smallest songbirds, the ruby-crowned kinglet breeds throughout the extent of Canada’s boreal forest, including the Lower Mainland. No word on whether any were spotted during this year’s Christmas bird count, which was held Jan. 2.

Birders brave the cold for annual Christmas count

Twenty one people, including six newcomers to the count, trekked through ice and snow in search of birds on Jan. 2

It was one of the coldest, snowiest Christmas bird counts on record with bird enthusiasts trudging through ice and snow in search of Langley’s fine feathered friends.

According to one of the organizers, Mike Klotz, around 21 people braved the minus six degree Celsius weather to count birds.

There were six new people who came out to help count in the northwest corner of Langley.

Most of the returning volunteers are from the Langley Field Naturalists, he said.

This year’s numbers were down, with 4,417 individual birds counted and 61 species.

That’s down from 2015 totals which were 7,934 individuals, 67 species.

“These totals were down, but expected given restricted access due to ice and snow as well as birds moving to the coast where there was less or no snow,” said Klotz, who has his own birding blog, where people can see lots more pictures Klotz took of the winter birds.

“Best bird for Langley is most likely an overwintering green heron, which we have in summer months usually heads south for the winter,” said Klotz.

Langley also has the privilege to be home to some of the only mourning doves in Metro Vancouver.

Full numbers from the complete White Rock count, of which Langley is a part, are still being tallied.

BELOW: Avid birder Mike Klotz captured this picture of a juvenile red tail hawk during the Christmas bird count in Langley.