Posted by: cherylyoung | December 22, 2012

Some people feed the less fortunate and other count birds…read on

Some people feed the less fortunate and other count birds…read on

Citizen Science in Action


The 111th Christmas Bird Count: Tuesday,

December 14, 2010 to Wednesday, January 5, 2011


From December 14 through January 5 tens of

thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas

take part in an adventure that has become a family

tradition among generations.

Families and students, birders and scientists,

armed with binoculars, bird guides and checklists

go out on an annual mission – often before dawn.


For over one hundred years, the desire to both make

a difference and to experience the beauty of nature

has driven dedicated people to leave the comfort

of a warm house during the Holiday season.

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



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.

From feeder-watchers and field observers to count

compilers and regional editors, everyone who

takes part in the Christmas Bird Count does it for

love of birds and the excitement of friendly

competition — and with the knowledge that their

efforts are making a difference for science and

bird conservation.

Learn how data from the CBC helps birds.


View results from this year’s count or from

previous years


Explore the CBC Photo Gallery of birds seen

during counts.

Christmas Bird Count printable program overview

(in PDF).


Audubon President’s letter to CBC volunteers.


Prior to the turn of the century, people engaged

in a holiday tradition known as the Christmas

“Side Hunt”:

They would choose sides and go afield with their

guns; whoever brought in the biggest pile of

feathered (and furred) quarry won.


Conservation was in its beginning stages around

the turn of the 20th century, and many observers

and scientists were becoming concerned about

declining bird populations.

Beginning on Christmas Day 1900, ornithologist

Frank Chapman, an early officer in the then

budding Audubon Society, proposed a new

holiday tradition-a “Christmas Bird Census”

-that would count birds in the holidays rather

than hunt them.


So began the Christmas Bird Count.


Thanks to the inspiration of Frank M. Chapman

and the enthusiasm of twenty-seven dedicated

birders, twenty-five Christmas Bird Counts were

held that day.


The locations ranged from Toronto, Ontario to

Pacific Grove, California with most counts in or

near the population centers of northeastern North



Those original 27 Christmas Bird Counters tallied

around 90 species on all the counts combined.





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