Christmas bird count takes flight

  • Christmas bird count takes flight

Christmas bird count takes flight

The annual Christmas Bird Count, one of the longest running citizen-scientist projects in the world, is about to be underway.

Current director of the Christmas Bird Count Geoff LeBaron notes the count "is increasingly accepted by ornithologists and conservationists alike as the best, if not only, tool available to addressing the long-term trends in the early winter bird populations of North America".

They would choose sides and go afield with their guns-whoever brought in the biggest pile of feathered and furred quarry won.

There are actually three other Christmas Bird Counts that include portions of Fairfield County within their sample area boundaries - the Hocking Hills, New Lexington, and Buckeye Lake count circles are centered in adjacent counties, but have circles that cross county lines in several places. Previous year they found 72 bird species and also counted 23,060 birds.

This year, the Audubon Christmas Bird Count will mobilize more than 72,000 volunteer bird counters in more than 2,500 locations across the Western Hemisphere. 15th, birders and nature enthusiasts will take part in this tradition in the Fort Morgan-Weldona area, many rising before dawn to participate.

Don't forget the Great Backyard Bird Count!

In Minnesota, count circles 15 miles in diameter are designated, and volunteers gather to spend 24 hours searching the area. The Mid-Cape count, which covers from Sandwich to East Dennis, always vies for top honors in the state when it comes to the most species, usually tallying over 130.

Want a refresher on the birds you might see? Continuing mild temperatures bode well for these birds surviving through the count period.

Those who would like to participate in the Christmas Bird Count from home may act as feeder watchers.

"Blue Water Audubon has been doing this count, this is our 61st year participating in this count", said Janet Fox, compiler for the annual event.

During this past February, more than 160,000 volunteers submitted observations online, and as a result, they created the largest instantaneous snapshot of global bird populations ever recorded!

New birdwatchers can take part with a group that has at least one experienced birdwatchers. Irruptions occur when temperature changes send Arctic owls southward.