The Friends of Elk Island Society (FEIS) conduct bird counts every year and this year was cold and slow.
 
An annual winter count was done in late December and numbers were down, mainly due to the -36 C temperature.
 
"The park is a cold cruel world, it's survival of the fittest; it's cold and there isn't water readily available in the winter months. You find your standard hearty species here," said Ed Friesen, board member with FEIS.
 
During the day, 22 bird watchers participated and saw 22 different species.
 
Highlights included the sighting of a Great Horned Owl and a Northern Shrike. Some of the most common included Black-capped Chickadees, Bohemian Waxwings and Common Redpolls.
 
"Occasionally, in the summer, we will see or hear people who see a bird that really shouldn't be this far north and for whatever reason, it got here," added Friesen.
 
Total counts:
Great Horned Owl 1
Northern Shrike  1
Brown Creeper 2
Northern Goshawk 2
Ruffed Grouse 2
Red breasted  nuthatch 4
Black backed woodpecker  5
Boreal chickadee  6
White breasted nuthatch 7
Pikeated Woodpecker  9
Hairy Woodpecker  10
Blue Jay 23
Downy Woodpecker  26
House Sparrow 32
Rock Pigeon 36
Raven 55
Pine Grosbeak 67
Black billed magpie 77
Snow Bunting 100
Bohemian Waxwing  104
Black capped chickadee 112
Common redpoll 148
 
You can keep up with the FEIS on their website and Facebook.

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