Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Count birds in your backyard or community for science - and fun!

From WDFW's Crossing Paths newsletter

December 2013

A popular way to view birds this month is to participate in the 114th annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC) with one of Washington's 46 official counts scheduled between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5, 2014.

The longest running citizen science survey in the world, the CBC provides critical data on bird population trends. Tens of thousands of participants throughout the Americas know that it's also a lot of fun.

The count has become a family tradition among generations, with veteran and novice birdwatchers armed with binoculars, bird guides, and checklists, often out before dawn and until dusk, on an annual mission to both make a difference and to experience the beauty of nature during the holiday season.

If you're just learning bird identification, joining up with others who are more knowledgeable is one of the best ways to accelerate your education. If you're a pro at distinguishing Cassin's finches from house finches or sharp-shinned hawks from Cooper's hawks, join a count to help others.

All of the official counts are within designated areas, and long-running ones have traditional spots within those areas to look for birds. But many counts also include what you might tally the day of the count at your own backyard bird feeder.

Contact the coordinators listed here by area and count dates to find out how you can get in on the holiday fun.

North Puget Sound:
South Puget Sound/Coastal:
Southwest Washington:
Southcentral Washington:
Northcentral Washington:
Eastern Washington:

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