Mike Jaques has been actively engaged in raising awareness and appreciation of nature in the area of birding. Mike has been involved in the Carleton Place Christmas bird count since 1987. For the first six he was both the count compiler and organizer. He has remained the compiler right up till this past years 2007 count. In all, Michael Jaques has contributed 21 years to the Carleton Place Christmas Bird Count.
The 2007 CP Christmas Bird count was the 67th annual in a tradition that started in 1900 by American Ornithologist Frank Chapman who asked birders to head out on Christmas day to count birds in their hometowns and submit the Census results. The Counts are now taking place in over 2000 localities across the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. These bird observations, collected during this one day field counts within designated areas have been amassed into a huge data base that reflects the distribution and numbers of winter birds over time. Citizen Science was born. Cleverly count teams are made up of experienced birders with intermediate and novices – which results in a transfer of bird identification skills from the more experienced to the novice.