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The 14th Annual Winter Bird Count in the Rouge, hosted by partners Parks Canada and Toronto Zoo, took place this past Sunday, January 8, 2016. Each year for this event, groups of keen participants are lead through various sectors of the Rouge Park by expert bird leaders and tally each species of bird they encounter.

The Toronto Zoo site itself constitutes one such sector, so a few lucky participants were able to peek behind-the-scenes as they looked for birds in the naturalized areas on the Zoo grounds. Participants this year braved exceptionally cold temperatures but were rewarded with views of spectacular birds such as bald eagles and barred owls.

The event wrapped up around noon and all participants gather together while the birds are tallied from all of the sectors. This year, a total of 4,553 birds were counted, representing 57 different species.

Photo Credit: Toronto Zoo

Data from this count help inform experts about the birds using the area during the winter months and can provide good insight into trends and conservation strategies when compared across different years.

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