Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Bird Count 4

This time of year, birders get to see their hobby/sport/lifestyle in mainstream media, thanks to coverage of the Christmas Bird Count. The 109th count began Sunday, Dec. 14, and will continue to Monday, Jan. 5, 2009.

According to National Audubon Society's CBC FAQs page, thousands of volunteers in the Western Hemisphere dedicate 24 hours to identifying species and counting birds within a 15-mile count circle. The predetermined circles are covered by birders who report to a count compiler before the circle's count date and pay the $5 participation fee.

Recent media coverage of completed counts
Hilton Head Island Packet, Hilton Head, S.C.:
Shrinking wildlife habitat means Audubon Society birders are counting fewer birds on Hilton Head Island than they have in the past, a trend reflected all over the world.

While the number of local species has hovered around 150 since the 1970s, the total number of birds has continually declined, said Barry Lowes of the Hilton Head Audubon Society. The local group completed its annual Christmas Bird Count last week.
Northumberland Today, Northumberland, Ontario, Canada:
On a gloomy day that seemed to be twilight throughout the daylight hours, 31 observers took to the field on Dec. 14 for the Presqu'ile-Brighton Christmas Bird Count. In total, 22,726 birds of 76 species were found during the day.
The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio:
A bevy of birds and waves of nasty weather kicked off the opening week of Christmas Bird Counts in Northeast Ohio.

With so many birders in the field, good sightings could be expected, even with the predictable rainy, gray and frigid conditions of mid-December.

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