Join a Christmas Bird Count today
Tired of the Christmas rush? Need some time away from the hubbub? Support conservation this Christmas by participating in a Christmas Bird Count (CBC) and enjoy a day outdoors with fresh air and no shopping. This year marks the 119th anniversary of this tradition which was started in 1900 by early conservationist Frank Chapman. As an officer in the budding Audubon Society, Mr. Chapman proposed the Christmas Bird Count as an alternative to the Christmas “side-hunt” in which teams would compete to see who could come home with the biggest pile of feathered and furred quarry. Twenty-seven dedicated birders participated in twenty-five Christmas Bird Counts that day and counted a total of 18,500 birds of 90 species. Today there are over 2,000 CBCs held each December 14 to January 5, including counts in every U.S. state, all the Canadian Provinces, and 19 countries in the Western Hemisphere. The data from these counts allow researchers and conservation biologists to study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America.
Christmas Bird Counts are laid out as circles with a 15-mile diameter. Teams of volunteers go out and count every bird they see in their territory within the circle. At the end of the day, participants gather together to share their numbers, stories of the day, and usually an excellent dinner prepared by volunteers. Participating in a CBC is a great way to spend some time outdoors, learn about the birds in our area, and make new friends. You do not need to be a bird expert to participate in a CBC. Beginners and children are welcome and will be teamed with a more experienced person. You don’t even have to go out in the field to be a part of a CBC because you can participate as a feeder watcher and count the birds at your feeder if your house is within the CBC circle.
Brazoria County is one of the birdiest counties in Texas and CBCs in our area have recorded over 200 species of birds in a single day! So how about giving your credit cards a break and give the birds a Christmas present by supporting conservation this year.
There are three CBCs in southern Brazoria County and numerous others in the general area. To participate in a local CBC, contact the compiler shown below.
• San Bernard, Friday, Dec 14, Ron Weeks (email@example.com) or Jennifer Wilson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
• Freeport, Sunday, Dec 16, Mike Austin (email@example.com).
• Brazoria, Saturday, Jan 5, Tom Taroni (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you live in Lake Jackson or Clute and would like to count at your feeder(s) on for the Freeport CBC ON Dec 16 or if you have hummingbirds coming to your feeders please notify Tad Finnell at 540-589-6523. We can have someone come by and tally your hummingbirds for the count.
I’ll be participating in six CBCs this year and I’m looking forward to each one! You just never know what you can find and it can get really exciting.