Cold Fun! Jan 2nd Christmas Bird Count
Posted by Jennifer Nagy (+60) 11 years ago
This year's Christmas Bird Count will be conducted on Sunday, January 2nd. Willing participates should meet at the Bureau of Land Management Office starting at 7:30am. Count groups will strike out for different routes, with the last group leaving at 8:00. The Christmas Bird Count is an early-winter bird census, where volunteers count every bird they see or hear during one day in a designated 15-mile diameter circle. Please bring binoculars and dress warmly. This is a fun winter activity for people of all ages. If you are a beginning birder, you will be able to join a group that includes at least one experienced birdwatcher. In addition, if your home is within the boundaries of a Count Circle, then you can stay home and report the birds that visit your feeder. There is a $5.00 (kids are free) participation fee; fee is waived for feeder watchers. This money is sent to the National Audubon Society to pay for compiling and publishing the results of all of the Christmas Bird Counts. If you would like to participate in the Christmas Bird Count by counting birds at your feeder, would like to start earlier, or have any other questions, please contact Jennifer Nagy at (406) 234-2784

The Christmas Bird Count is the longest running wildlife census and citizen science project. Each of the citizen scientists who brave snow, wind, or rain, to take part in the Christmas Bird Count make an enormous contribution to conservation. The Audubon Society and other organizations use data collected in the census to assess the health of bird populations and guide conservation action. Christmas bird count data has aided in tracking avian diseases and species population changes.

CBC fun facts:
* Top 10 most common birds seen last year: Mallards (18% of total birds counted), Canada Geese, House Sparrows, European Starlings, Bohemian Waxwings, Rock Pigeons, House Finch, Black-billed Magpies, Black-capped Chickadees, and Common Goldeneye.
* Only bird seen on every CBC last year: Black-capped Chickadee.
*Total number of species seen in Montana CBCs (cumulative list): 207 species, with no new species added last year.
* Number of people participating in Montana CBCs last year: 661.
* Number of individual birds counted last year in Montana: 159,228.
Posted by Stacie Miller (+237) 11 years ago
Sounds like fun! If families want to participate but cannot afford the $5.00 is there a way they can still do it or help out?

Stacie Miller
Posted by Amorette Allison (+12016) 11 years ago
Could I actually tell the difference between birds, I'd be there.
Posted by Jennifer Nagy (+60) 11 years ago
If anyone is wanting to come out and have some birding fun, please come despite the participation fee. Give what you can (if you can). No one will be turned away.

Audubon has staff which are hired to enter and analyze the bird data. Data is used to see population trends and look at the impact of disease, climate change, and conservation effort. All non-profits have seen a budget cut. Audubon is simply trying to obtain funding for the work they do.

Thanks for the question.

Amorette - you can be a data scribe

[This message has been edited by Jennifer Nagy (12/22/2010)]
Posted by Jennifer Nagy (+60) 11 years ago
5 more days until the CBC!