Help the National Audubon Society identify and count wild birds as
part of the Christmas Bird Count this winter. Join more
than 50,000 birdwatchers across North America (amateurs welcome!)
in this annual event that’s been going on for more than 100
The Christmas Bird Count is conducted from Dec. 14 to Jan. 5 every
year. Organized groups spend a day counting birds in assigned,
15-mile-diameter circles. Inexperienced observers are paired with
veteran birders to help keep the count accurate.
The totals collected by volunteers provide a snapshot of winter
bird populations. Biologists use the data to study variations in
bird populations as well as the underlying environmental reasons
behind those changes. For example, biologists have discovered that
mourning doves are expanding their range north into the United
States and Canada. One of several factors behind that change may be
increasingly warm winter temperatures.
John Stuart has been participating in the Christmas Bird Count for
30 years. He lives in Washington state, about an hour from the
Canadian border, and says that each year the count in his area
records 65 to 75 species. ‘The counts are done in a scientific
manner, but it’s just a whole lot of fun,’ Stuart says. ‘You get a
carload of people, and you go out and drink your coffee and count
birds all day. It’s a great social event.’
To get involved this winter, contact your
More Birdwatching Resources
Backyard Bird Count
Feb. 16 to 19, 2007
Open to birders of all experience levels.
November to April
Count birds at home or as a classroom project.
Resources for managing data for experienced birders.
Megan E. Phelps is a freelance writer based in Kansas. She enjoys reading and writing about all things related to sustainable living including homesteading skills, green building and renewable energy. You can find her on Google+.