This photo of a great blue heron at Duck Lake won first place in the Creston Valley Bird Festival photography contest. (Photo by Tresy Kilboure)

This photo of a great blue heron at Duck Lake won first place in the Creston Valley Bird Festival photography contest. (Photo by Tresy Kilboure)

Creston Bird Fest was a virtual success

The counts are in, with 136 bird species recorded on Global Big Day

Submitted by the Creston Valley Bird Festival Committee

The Creston Valley Bird Festival, hosted by the Creston Valley Branch of Wildsight, was a successful combination of virtual and live small group events held from May 7 to 9.

With 7,000 hectares of protected wetland, a diverse rural landscape, and caring landowners, the Creston Valley is where the birds are.

For Global Big Day on May 8, birdwatchers from around the world took part in recording their sightings on eBird to support conservation efforts.

A total of 136 bird species were recorded in Creston, including rare sightings of shorebirds such as black-necked stilts, dunlins, solitary and semi-palmated sandpipers. For the entire list of species sighted, visit

Local participants enjoyed nine virtual presentations by well-known bird experts across Canada such as John Acorn, Gary Davidson, Dr. David Bird, Dr. Jim Duncan, Paul Foth, and Gaelen Schnare. The speakers reminded us how fortunate we are to live amid such rich avian diversity in the Creston Valley.

Carla Ahern, senior manager of the Kootenay-Columbia Discovery Centre, connected to school groups in Creston giving everyone the basics on birds.

The Bird Fest Committee would also like to thank Dylan Leayr and Lars Sander-Green of Wildsight for their technical expertise.

Live events included Bird Bingo, Creston’s Big Day, and a photography contest with many prizes donated by generous Creston merchants. Many thanks to Kootenay Meadows, Swan Valley Honey, Home Hardware, the Red Barn, Lark Organic Coffee Roasters, the Creston Museum, Karen Whitford, Brome Birdcare, Baillie Grohman Estate Winery, and Red Bird Winery for their generosity.

An online auction helped to offset expenses. Thanks to those who participated in the donating and the purchasing of bird-related regalia.

The Bird Fest Committee of 2021 would like to give a thumbs-up to all of this year’s participants.

Mark your calenders for next year! The 10th annual Creston Valley Bird Festival is scheduled for May 12 to 14, 2022.

READ MORE: Rare white raven, 2 orphaned bear cubs nursed back to health at B.C. wildlife rescue centre

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