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Christmas Bird Count 2011

Put on your parka and binoculars and GO!
© Scott Liddell View Large

In the year 1900, the holiday season was approaching. With that would come the Christmas "Side Count," when, by tradition, you'd go out and shoot as many birds as you could. But a birder named Frank Chapman proposed that people go out and count birds, instead. Today, the Christmas Bird Count is the oldest bird count in the world. And anybody can participate. If you're lucky, maybe you'll spot a Snowy Owl. 

Full Transcript

Transcript: 
BirdNote®
Christmas Bird Count 2011

With Ellen Blackstone

This is BirdNote!
[Clip-clop of a horse]
The year is 1900, and the holiday season is approaching. With that comes the Christmas “Side Count,” when, by tradition, you’d go out and shoot as many birds as you could. [Gunshots in the background] But conservation was on the rise, especially with the formation of the Audubon Society.
A birder named Frank Chapman proposed that people go out and count birds, rather than shoot them. Today, the Christmas Bird Count is the oldest bird count in the world. And anybody can participate. We asked BirdNote writer, Ellen Blackstone, to tell us how she got started:
“I went on my first Christmas Bird Count when I was new to the area, so I had no idea which bird was which. But I went with these two guys – They were both incredible birders. I felt like such a novice. It was cold and miserable that morning, as I recall, until we spotted a Snowy Owl, just sitting on an abandoned runway in an old airfield.
[Call of a Snowy Owl]
That bird must’ve thought it was still on the tundra. It just sat there and looked all around. It was amazing to see that big white bird on that cold, gray winter morning. Made the whole absolutely thing worth it. [Calls of a Snowy Owl]
And the next year, I still didn’t know a whole lot about the birds of the area, so I was the official “spotter.” And that’s OK – every team needs a good spotter! Sometimes the best birders just don’t see the birds.

[Song of the Brown Creeper]

To find the Audubon count near you, begin at our website, BirdNote.org. Give it a try!
 [Song of the Brown Creeper]
###
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Snowy Owl call [138288] by Gerrit Vyn, call of the Snowy Owl [119458] recorded by G.A. Keller, and song of Brown Creeper recorded by T.G. Sander.     
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2011 Tune In to Nature.org      December 2011     Narrator: Michael Stein

ID#  cbc-05-2011-12-02

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