Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Audubon Christmas Bird Counts

 

Started in 1900, the Christmas Bird Count is North America’s longest-running Citizen Science project.

The tradition began over a century ago when 27 conservationists in 25 localities, led by scientist and writer Frank Chapman, changed the course of ornithological history. On Christmas Day in 1900, the small group proposed an alternative to the ‘side hunt,’ a Christmas day activity in which teams competed to see who could shoot the most birds and small mammals. Instead, Chapman suggested that they identify, count, and record all the birds they saw, founding what is now considered to be the world’s most significant citizen-based conservation effort.

Now the information collected at more than 2,000 locations by thousands of volunteer participants forms one of the world’s largest sets of wildlife survey data. Birds Canada and its partner the Audubon Society in the United States rely on data from the CBC database to monitor bird populations. The results are used daily by conservation biologists and naturalists to assess the population trends and distribution of birds.

Each Christmas Bird Count is conducted on a single day between December 14 and January 5. Counts are carried out within a 24-km diameter circle that stays the same from year to year.

Three Christmas Bird Counts take place within the Mississippi Valley watershed:

Date

CBC

Coordinator

Contact

December 14, 2019      

Rideau Ferry, Report       

Alison Bentley        

     

December 27, 2019

Carleton Place, Report

Iain Wilkes

December 30, 2019

Lanark, Report, Report

Marilyn Barnett

Volunteers are essential to the success of the CBC. You don’t need to be an expert but it helps to be familiar with local bird species. In any case, participants in the field counts are placed in a team led by an experienced birder and everyone is welcome. You will need a pair of binoculars. As well residents with bird feeders within a count area can also help by listing all birds at your feeder or in your yard on the count day.

For more information on Christmas Bird Counts check out Birds Canada.