During late December, birders go out counting every bird that hops, swims, flies, or soars into view, as they have for more than 100 years. Audubon chapters across the United States and elsewhere sponsor the Christmas Bird Count, or CBC. Join the count - in Alaska, Connecticut, Detroit, Texas, Washington State, California, New Mexico, or Florida, or beyond.
Audubon.org can help find a CBC near you. Note: A few have been canceled and the active ones require masks. Take care!
Christmas Bird Count – Join In!
Gene Hunn interviewed by Chris Peterson
This is BirdNote.
[A small group of birders counting what they see]
Think about joining this year’s annual Christmas Bird Count. Birder Gene Hunn compiles the results for just one of 2000 groups worldwide that participate in the count.
“We have data that goes back to 1908… it’s nearly complete...and that allows you to track the changing fortunes of many of the local birds. It’s not precisely accurate from the point of view of laboratory scientists – it’s citizen science – the people who report the data are amateur birdwatchers almost entirely, and… the parties that do the observing in a particular area are typically led by somebody who’s very knowledgeable… but anybody can join in … and you get that sort of camaraderie that comes from people of all different levels of expertise participating together. All of these counts then together provide a snapshot of the distribution of birds at the beginning of the winter season…"
Here’s just one sample of what we’re learning from this resource: the winter ranges of many different species of birds in North America have been shifting north about 35 miles over the last 10 or 20 years. It’s not a perfect curve, but when you look at the information across the country, it’s clear that global climate change is having an impact on at least certain species of birds.
To join the Christmas Bird Count in your area, begin at our website, birdnote.org. [A small group of birders counting what they see]
Ambient recordings by C. Peterson.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2014 Tune In to Nature.org December 2014/2020 Narrator Michael Stein
ID# orig: cbc-04-2009-12-10-MS cbc-04b-2010-12-13-MS