Thursday, November 19, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas Bird Count Time

There's no better way to become a better birder than by spending time in the field with experienced birders!

Beginning on Christmas Day 1900, ornithologist Frank Chapman, an early officer in the then budding Audubon Society, proposed a new holiday tradition - a "Christmas Bird Census" - that would count birds in the holidays rather than hunt them.

So began the Christmas Bird Count.

From December 14 through January 5 tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas take part in an adventure that has become a family tradition among generations. Families and students, birders and scientists, armed with binoculars, bird guides and checklists go out on an annual mission - often before dawn. For over one hundred years, the desire to both make a difference and to experience the beauty of nature has driven dedicated people to leave the comfort of a warm house during the Holiday season.

The data collected by observers over the past century allow researchers, conservation biologists, and other interested individuals to study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America. When combined with other surveys such as the Breeding Bird Survey, it provides a picture of how the continent's bird populations have changed in time and space over the past hundred years.

If you are interested in participating in a Christmas Bird Count for the first time, visit the Shreveport Bird Study Group website or join us on Facebook. We will put you in touch with the compiler who can pair you with an experienced local birder. Or, if you happen to live within the count area, you can phone in the species and numbers you observed on the count day.

Upcoming CBCs include the Claiborne CBC, Shreveport CBC, Natchitoches CBC, and the Bossier-Caddo-Bienville CBC (the BCBCBC).
For more information on what a CBC is, visit

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