Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Bird Count 5

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, Unity, Me.:
The Unity Christmas bird count occurred last Monday with mostly cloudy skies, an inch of old snow, blustery wind, and temperatures warming from 4 degrees at midnight to a gentle rain after dark.

Although all the tallies are not yet final, the preliminary numbers indicate 25 birders reported 48 species.
Cape Cod Times, Cape Cod, Mass.:
The days at the end of the year — filled with the holiday rush of shopping, parties of all sorts and family commitments — offer scant opportunities to get afield and look for birds.
Yellow-breasted Chat courtesy of E. Vernon Laux/Cape Cod Times

Press of Atlantic City, Atlantic City, N.J.:
Off in the distance, with the Atlantic City skyline piercing through a cloudy midafternoon sky, the focus is out at sea, where hundreds of birds have gathered.
Bucks County Courier Times, Levittown, Pa.:
Trudging along the trails of Silver Lake Nature Center Saturday on the annual Christmas bird count, the center's director-naturalist Bob Mercer didn't necessarily need his eyes to do the job.

Valley News Dispatch, Pittsburgh, Pa.:
Pausing along a path in Todd Nature Reserve in Buffalo Township, something caught George Reese's eye in a stand of hemlock trees.

"There's a grouse," Reese said above the low roar of nearby Hesselgesser's Run.
The London Free Press, London, Ontario, Canada:
About 150 nature enthusiasts braved temperatures around -11 C yesterday to count thousands of birds in the London area.

Citizen scientists spotted more than 60 species within a 12-kilometre radius of Reservoir Park on Commissioners Road during the 100th annual Christmas bird count, said Pete Read.
The Expositor, Brantford, Ontario, Canada:
A bright pink pillar of light rose in the eastern sky Dec. 14 and allowed itself to be spread out in layers of rose and gold by the southwest wind. It was a good beginning for the annual Woodhouse Township Christmas Bird Count. Last year, Betty Chanyi and I woke to drifting, blowing snow... and chickened out. It's one of the few times either of us has missed the count.
Dalton Daily Citizen, Dalton, Ga.:
While most teenage boys were out chasing girls, Sandy Pangle spent his high school days chasing birds.

“To a lot of people, a bird is a bird,” Pangle said. “And it became kind of a challenge to go to an area and realize there is really nothing to the untrained eye, then all this stuff started appearing.”
Photo courtesy of Dalton Daily Citizen

The Telegraph, Macon, Ga.:
Bird-lovers in Middle Georgia made their way outdoors Saturday for the annual Christmas Bird Count, a nation wide “citizen-science” effort sponsored by the National Audubon Society. In Macon, some 30 people took part this year in the more than 100-year-old tradition that seeks to annually catalog the number of birds and bird species in a given area, said Marie Amerson, with the Ocmulgee Audubon Society. This year set a local record for participation in the event, Amerson said, even though they did not find quite as many birds as in previous years.
The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, Okla.:
Cold and windy weather didn’t keep nature lovers away from the Christmas Bird Count on Saturday at Martin Park Nature Center in Oklahoma City.

Volunteers and friends came bundled up and carrying binoculars to participate in the annual winter songbird census.
The Ukiah Daily Journal, Ukiah, Calif.:
Area bird watchers gathered at Granite Construction's Talmage operation about 7:15 a.m. Saturday to count birds as part of a yearly Christmas bird count.

Cold temperatures frosted Ukiah Valley's floor, but wearing gloves and warm clothing local Audubon chapter members focused on counting birds.
Queen Charlotte Islands Observer, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, Canada:
The screaming northeaster almost stopped our breath as we headed into it on our way to Little Spit Point at Sandspit. There was no shelter, neither for us nor for the birds. The wind chill brought the temperature down to minus 22c and it was no place for the faint-hearted.

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