Christmas Bird Count 2012

November 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Events

The 113th Christmas Bird Count is set to take place from December 14 through to January 5 all over the Americas, with tens of thousands of volunteer birding enthusiasts participating. If you have not yet taken part in this annual event, why not make it your new family tradition, as it is one that can be enjoyed by all ages.

Visit the Audubon website for more information and to register.

Montezuma Muckrace Birding Competition 2012

August 16, 2012 by  
Filed under Events

Taking place on 7-8 September the Montezuma Muckrace is a 24-hour birding event to raise fund for conservation projects within the Montezuma Wetlands Complex. As one of New York State’s prime birding destinations, Montezuma offers birders a memorable event as birds are counted within the boundaries of the complex. For more information on this event, which is sponsored by the Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex and Audubon NY, please visit the Friends of Montezuma Website.

Dates: 7-8 September 2012
Venue: Montezuma Wetlands Complex
State: New York
Country: United States

Christmas Bird Count – Gathering Valuable Data

December 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Birding Tips

In the late 1800s wildlife conservation was unheard of and the hunting of birds and other animals was generally unrestricted in the United States. In some states it was a common Christmas tradition to go hunting, with the hunter bagging the most birds and animals being declared the winner of the so-called “Side Hunt”. By the turn of the century, however, nature lovers and scientists began to express concern regarding the effects of hunting on bird populations, and it was at this time, when the Audubon Society was still in its infancy, that the society’s representative Frank M. Chapman proposed starting a new Christmas tradition in which birds would be counted, rather than hunted, and so the concept of the “Christmas Bird Count” was born – and enthusiastically supported.

The very first Christmas Bird Count was carried out by Frank Chapman and a team of 27 birders, who recorded a combined count of 90 species of birds in 25 locations. From small beginnings, the Christmas Bird Count has grown into a nationwide effort involving thousands of keen birders, each doing their bit to compile a record of the country’s feathered creatures. Starting on 14 December this year, the 112th Christmas Bird Count will continue to 5 January 2012, during which time thousands of volunteers, referred to as “citizen scientists”, will collect data to be used by the Audubon society and other conservation organizations in determining the health of bird populations – and have loads of fun in the process.

With some nature-loving families, the annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) has become somewhat of a tradition, and whether citizen scientists are monitoring backyard bird feeders, or going out into the wild, every bit of information collected in this carefully coordinated effort is important. The fact that the CBC has been taking place over such a long period of time gives conservationists a clearer picture of trends in bird populations. This allows them to formulate strategies to protect birds by protecting their natural habitat. Although the focus is on the feathered inhabitants of the monitored areas, conservationists are able to detect issues such as improper use of pesticides and groundwater contamination which could be detrimental to the humans in the area as well.

Whether you are a seasoned birder, or a budding citizen scientist, the Audubon Society welcomes participation in the Christmas Bird Count. So bundle up warm, grab those binoculars, and do your bit for the future of our feathered friends.

Klamath Falls Christmas Bird Count

November 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

Come and enjoy a day counting birds in the Klamath Falls area. The event will see birders counting individual birds and all species seen or heard in their assigned area. The count cirle center is at Kinsley Field and extends to a 15 mile diameter. The day is rounded off with a potluck dinner. For more information, visit the Klamath Basin Audubon Society Website.

Date: 17 December 2011
Venue: Kingsley Field
city: Klamath Falls
State: Oregon
Country: United States of America

Portland Christmas Bird Count

October 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

Join in the cheer of the season with a Christmas Bird Count. Not only is it good fun, but it also provides valuable scientific data on bird populations. Last year 267 bird watchers joined in, spotting 124 species. Why not help break the record? Along with fantastic bird watching, birders will meet like-minded people with whom to share experiences and knowledge. The data collected is sent to the Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology. So wrap up warmly and grab your binoculars for this fantastic event. For more info, check out the Audubon of Portland website.

Dates: 31 December 2011
Times: 06h00 to 18h00
City: Portland
State: Oregon
Country: United States of America

Great Himalayan Bird Count 2009

November 3, 2009 by  
Filed under Events

Sixteen groups, consisting of approximately nine birders per group, will take on a variety of hiking trails from the 7th to the 10th of November 2009, in search of as many bird species as they can find, to identify and record them. Some of the trails include the Jhilmil Jheel Conservation Reserve, Ganga Mandakini and Yamuna. This magnificent initiative and bird watching opportunity is supported by the Forest Department of Uttarakhand. Bird lovers eager to participate should inquire about the Great Himalayan Bird Count, as places are limited.

For more information, contact Prateek Panwar on 941 205 4216 or email arch.birdcountr@yahoo.in

Date: 7 – 10 November 2009
Venue: Various
City: Dehradun
Country: India

Shifting Migrations Might Indicate Global Warming

February 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Features

Each year thousands of citizens in the US get involved with the annual Christmas bird count. They are not professional birders, but their counts do help biologists and other researchers to get a better idea of the grand scale of things. Over time this count has revealed that almost 60 percent of migratory birds are spending their winters further north than they did forty years ago.

According to studies, the American Robin and White-throated Sparrow are just two of the 305 bird species examined which showed a dramatic northward shift in their annual migratory patterns. While this does not prove global warming in itself, it is consistent with the sort of behavior you’d expect to take place in direct reaction to a steadily warming climate. The concern is not so much for the birds themselves, but for other non-migratory bird species and animals that are left behind to suffer through the heat. Kenn Kaufman, field editor for Audubon Magazine, stressed the interdependence of everything in an ecosystem when he said about the trend: “Everything is connected. Birds are not isolated; it’s an ecosystem. It’s a system and something that happens in one area is going to affect everything else.”

While bird ranges can change for a number of different reasons, such as urban sprawl, supplemented diets and deforestation, researchers have noted that the most likely explanation for why so many different migratory birds over such a broad area are choosing to winter further north is most likely global warming. The shift is not just affecting one or two species from one or two areas – its affecting a large number of species from a large number of areas. The phenomenon is simply too widespread to be attributed entirely to only one localized cause.

So where does the report released by the National Audubon Society leave bird lovers? It refreshes in our minds the need to not contribute to the many factors causing global warming. Not only can we change our own lifestyles and encourage others to do likewise, but if we live in an area where there are non-migratory birds, we can try to be aware of their needs, providing them with food, water and shelter so that they can survive the conditions as best as possible.