Christmas Bird Counts are scheduled to be held in many areas in the United States, Canada and other nations between December 14, 2011 and January 5, 2012. You can join the thousands of volunteers who submit data from their feeder counts or go out with other volunteers to count birds in the ‘count circle’–first check here to see if there is a Christmas Bird Count scheduled for your area.
When you click on that link and check a state, this will bring up a chart showing all the ‘circles’ in your state with the name of the circle, the name of the person who organizes the count who is called the ‘compiler’, the date the count is scheduled for that circle, whether you can preregister and additional information. Most compilers request that you contact them via email or phone beforehand so they know what areas of the count ‘circle’ they have covered and which areas they need to get more coverage for. The National Audubon Society hosts the Christmas Bird Counts, analyzes the data and provides the information gained from the Christmas Bird Counts to help conserve birds.
If you decide you would like to submit your data from your feeder there is no fee. If you are 18 or over and choose to go out into the field to count there is a $5 fee “fund the program and help to cover the costs of generating materials for Compilers, producing an annual CBC summary issue, and maintaining the CBC website and database.” Those under 18 do not pay a fee to count in the field. Here is a link for frequently asked questions. You do not have to be an experienced birder or a member of the National Audubon Society to take part in a Christmas Bird County by counting birds in the field or at your feeder. Those who have never taken part in a Christmas Bird Count in the field are usually paired with more experienced counters, just let the compiler know you would like to do that.
So join the me in taking part in a Christmas Bird Count this year–I will be taking part in several Christmas Bird Counts as they are lots of fun and really help provide essential citizen science data that is important in monitoring bird populations.
–Have you ever taken part in a Christmas Bird Count? Were you a feeder-watcher, a field participant or both?
–Do you plan to take part in one or more Christmas Bird Counts this year?
–Let me know if you have any questions.