Winter Solstice and the Christmas Bird Count

My favorite raptor

The official first days of Winter have come with the Solstice and with it the Annual Christmas Bird Count is in full swing. Called the CBC, the first count was done on Christmas Day of 1900, over the last 110-years, with waistlines bulging, thousands of citizens have joined together to volunteer their time to walk off that Pumpkin Pie in the name of science. Count dates vary by area, but are conducted from December 14 to January 5, across the US, Canada, and 19 countries.

Everyone is welcome to participate, Compilers, or group leaders, arrange field parties so that inexperienced volunteers are always out with seasoned CBC veterans. Volunteers will go out over a 24 hour period to count birds following specified routes through a designated 15-mile circle, counting every bird they see or hear all day. If you live within a CBC count area, you can arrange to count the birds at your own feeder and submit the data to the group leader. To find a count in your area just select “Get Involved” from the CBC home page.

Go to the Birds. When the shortest days of the year are giving you the mid-winter blues take a walk through the trees and look up at the birds, you can participate in as many counts as you like, you’ll be giving a hand to science, and you might even find a new hobby or Solstice Tradition.

You can avoid some of the spookier aspects of mid-winter holidays by doing something refreshing and useful, eh?

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