Birding Through December

December is starting out slow but we have been getting some interesting sightings across the province. We have had a number of reports in the past few weeks of Northern Cardinals being seen at various locations on the Island. Reports are of 5 individuals so far, including 4 females and a male. Cardinals are not common at all but are being seen regularly in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and are apparently breeding there.

Other reports that have been coming into our Listserve, and being reported on Birding on PEI, are some of our northerly visitors, the latest of which includes a Snowy Owl as well as Evening Grosbeaks, Pine Siskins, Purple Sandpipers and Harlequin Ducks (the last two being seen on our field trip November 9).


Harlequin Duck - female

Distant female Harlequin Duck off Cavendish Shore, seen in early November


Sanderling off Cavendish

So now our attention will begin to focus on the upcoming Christmas Bird Counts. There are four Counts in the province including East Point, Prince Edward Island National Park, Hillsborough (east of Charlottetown) and Montague. Hopefully, the weather cooperates and we will have an opportunity to record some great birds while enjoying the outdoors and having some fun.

Boreal Chickadee

One of the birds we will be looking for during Christmas Bird Counts – Boreal Chickadee.

As well, December 1 initiated the beginning of our Winter Bird List, a friendly competition with our neighbouring provinces to see who can see the most species from December 1 through to the end of February. Wish us luck!


We are expecting Evening Grosbeak to be seen during our CBC’s and on our WBL.


Red-tailed Hawks are frequenting the province and we love to add them to both Lists.

In the meantime, keep on birding and enjoy the spirit of the season!


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