Archive for the ‘Christmas Bird Count’ tag

Christmas Bird Count takes flight

By December 17th, 2012 at 11:06 am | Comment

Christmas Bird Count - SciStarter

See that partridge in a pear tree?

Make sure you count it for Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count, one of the largest and longest running citizen science projects in existence today. It’s a 112 year tradition, with upwards of 60,000 person-days of effort and more than 60 million birds counted each year.

“Each of the citizen scientists who annually braves snow, wind, or rain, to take part in the Christmas Bird Count makes an enormous contribution to conservation. Audubon and other organizations use data collected in this longest-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations – and to help guide conservation action.” –CBC Blog

From December 14 through January 5 each year, tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas take part in this adventure. Volunteers follow specific routes within a 15-mile diameter circle, counting birds that are seen or heard. It’s not just a species tally—all birds are counted all day, giving an indication of the total number of birds in the circle that day. If you’re curious about the data and research from last year’s count, that’s available on the website too! The results of the bird count will be published in various scientific publications, most notably American Birds.

This is an ideal project to participate in with friends and family during the holiday season. Join thousands of others participating nationwide this year! Find a count happening near you.

Photo: State of Nebraska

Join the Christmas Bird Count Near You

By December 22nd, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Comment

Cedar Waxwing (Photo: Georgi Baird)

Cedar Waxwing (Photo: Georgi Baird)

If Santa had time during his busy holiday schedule, there is no doubt he would join the National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count, an annual event that dates back to the year 1900! That’s right: a citizen science event 110 years in the making!

From December 14 to January 5 each season, volunteers follow specified routes through a designated 15-mile (24-km) diameter circle, counting every bird they see or hear all day.

Why has the Christmas Bird Count been such a huge success over the years?

First, you don’t need to be an expert to participate. Families, students, and birders at all levels are paired together with seasoned Christmas Bird Count veterans. You’ll be supplied with binoculars, bird guides and checklists — all you need to participate in a successful count.

Second, the counts take place all over the world. To get involved in a count near you, visit the Christmas Bird Count Get Involved web page.

Finally, the data collected through the Christmas Bird Count has been extremely useful to researchers, conservation biologists, and others interested in studying the long-term health and status of bird populations. In the 1980’s, for instance, data was used to document the decline of wintering populations of the American Black Duck. As a result, conservation measures were put into effect to reduce hunting pressure on this species.

Visit the Christmas Bird Count website to learn more about how you can participate in the longest-running wildlife census this holiday season.