Counting on Christmas Bird Counts

A Message from the President

Dave Eslinger Capturing A Bird on the Wing

Greeting Master Naturalists! I hope you are all out enjoying the beautiful Autumn days!  This is a great time to go outside and see some migrating fall birds and to get your feeders ready for our overwintering birds such as orioles.  At least people tell me they come and overwinter.  They don’t at my house, so far, at least.  But I’ll keep trying.  I do get a lot of other birds, especially goldfinches, so I won’t complain… much.

The other thing that I start planning at this time of year is my participation in upcoming Christmas Bird Counts.  A Christmas Bird Count is a fun group effort to count every bird within a predesignated 15 mile (24 km) diameter circle.  It is also one of the oldest Citizen Science efforts that we can participate in: this year will be the 121st year of CBCs, as they are commonly known.   The CBCs provide information used in hundreds of studies about bird populations, ranges, and habitats. 

Learn More about Christmas Bird Counts

Learn more about CBC’s in several ways. I’ll be speaking about CBCs in this month’s Think and Drink this Wednesday the 17th at 7 PM on Zoom.  I’ll cover their history, how they generally work, how we can get involved, and share some of my memorable experiences.  If you can’t make that Think and Drink (or even if you can), check out Audubon’s web site: Audubon Christmas Bird Count, which contains a huge amount of information.

On Saturday, November 20th, come Walk and Talk at Caw Caw, where we will conduct a mini CBC-like event.  I’ll give folks a brief look at what goes on at a CBC and inspire them to participate.  I’ll also bring a variety of binoculars for participants to try and to compare.  That is as a follow-up to last month’s Think and Drink.

Christmas Bird Counts are a big part of my birding year. They can be enormously fun social events, as well as providing priceless citizen science data.  Please join us on the 17th to learn more.  I look forward to seeing you there!

The Think and Drink and the Walk and Talk events each qualify towards your annual 8 hours of Advanced Training. To log your hours, go to the Master Naturalist Online Volunteer Hour Reporting System.