The Christmas Bird Count is On!
12/21/2012 1:25 PM
Once the gifts are unwrapped and the turkey is eaten on Christmas Day, forgo that comfy couch and instead head outdoors with your binoculars and bird ID guide in hand to participate in the longest-running citizen-science survey in the world.
Now in its 113th Year, the Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count is a perfect way for you to make an enormous contribution to bird conservation in North Carolina, regardless if you’re a backyard birder or a serious field observer. Best of all, it’s free and pretty easy to do, too. Just visit Audubon’s website to sign up and find a count near you.
According to Audubon,which organizes the annual count, the count takes place within “count circles,” which focus on specific geographical areas. Each circle is led by a count compiler and each count is conducted on a specific day. Once you sign up,you’ll find a list of more than 50 Christmas Bird Count circles located across the state, as well as the email addresses for the count compilers. Some count compilers request pre-registrations. Others just advise you to show up on the day of the count.
By joining a circle, you’re guaranteed to have fun, but most importantly, you’ll be in a group that includes at least one experienced birdwatcher.
Data from the Christmas Bird Count, along with other data, are used by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and other state and federal wildlife agencies to evaluate which bird species are in decline and which are expanding.
If you can’t find the time on Christmas Day to count birds, no worries. The Christmas Bird Count runs through Jan. 5.