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What is the Christmas Birds Rally?

  • A birdwatching activity for kids and teens from 7 to 17 and their families
  • An invitation to go and meet the birds around you
  • A Citizen Science activity
  • The opportunity to put screens aside and connect to nature
  • A chance to win prizes!

In short, it's a bit like Pokemon Go!, but a lot cooler because you'll discover real creatures around you!

Download the material     Complete the observation form


For parents: The Christmas Birds Rally is a project managed by QuébecOiseaux in collaboration with the scientifique en chef du Québec. Since the program is aimed at children and adolescents alike, it is designed to be suitable for everyone. However, the younger ones will need a helping hand with certain steps, especially when it comes to the website. If you are a Facebook or Instagram user, feel free to share your aspiring birdwatcher's observations, photos and drawings using hashtag #RallyeOiseauxNoel. You will be able to see all the publications by clicking on the following links: Facebook / Instagram. For any questions, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

How does it work?

Before the activity

Download and print the material (available in English):

  • The illustrated list of birds
  • The instructions
  • Tips on how to prepare for your outing

(By the way, you can also download coloring illustrations and the Bingo des oiseaux!)

Download material

Then...

  • Get to know the bird species you might encounter
  • Read the instructions and tips to prepare for your rally
  • Choose a day between December 10 and January 10 for your rally
  • Choose a place where there are usually many birds (e.g. a park).

The day of the activity

  1. Watch birds from your home, in your neighborhood or in a park (or all three!)
  2. In a notebook or on the illustrated list, write down all the birds you can identify by sight or ear. Apart from the name of the species, write how many of them you saw. For example, if you saw four Black-capped Chickadees during your outing, write "Black-capped Chickadee: 4"
  3. If you see a bird that you do not recognize, draw or describe it (color, size, etc.). When you come home, you will be able to identify it more easily
  4. The duration of your rally is up to you (from fifteen minutes to a full day if you are very motivated!)
  5. You can do several outings between December 10 and January 10. The important thing is that you record your observations for only one day each time
  6. Remember that the rally must be done alone or in the company of the people who live with you only, to comply with the measures related to COVID-19.

Back at home

  1. Record your observations on the observation form; Form
  2. Have hot chocolate with your family and share your experience on Facebook or Instagram with #RallyeOiseauxNoel. Stories, photos (bird photos or any other photo from your rally) and drawings are welcome!
  3. At the end of the program, you will receive a scientific report presenting the results of all participants (e.g. most common and rare species).

Participation prizes

You could receive a participation prize if:

  • You record your sightings on the observation form, or
  • You share photos or drawings on Facebook or Instagram with #RallyeOiseauxNoel (your images must be shared with a public status).

Questions?

Do not hesitate to contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

What is citizen science?

Citizen Science refers to all activities of a scientific nature carried out by the general public. The information collected is used for the study of birds and their protection. The Christmas Birds Rally is made possible thanks to the support of the Fonds de recherche du Québec. The activity is inspired by the National Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count, which takes place each year during the holiday season.

Thank you and have a good rally!

NOTE: We ask all participants to follow government guidelines to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. These guidelines are continuously updated at www.quebec.ca/coronavirus.

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