Join in the local Audubon Christmas Bird Count

Christmas Bird Counts sponsored by MVFN

cbc_online_graphic-791x1024Soon the “Christmas Bird Counting” will begin; thousands will take part in Audubon Christmas Bird counts across the Americas. This sociable citizen science tradition began Christmas Day in 1900. Organized by conservation minded ornithologist Frank Chapman, people at 25 locations, including Toronto, Ontario took part in a “Christmas Bird Census” (instead of a hunt) to identify and record, as many birds as possible for the day. Thus, was founded one of the world’s most significant citizen-based conservation efforts. Bird Studies Canada and partners at the National Audubon Society in the United States rely on the data to monitor populations and guide conservation efforts.

Volunteers are needed for all three counts sponsored by the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists in our local area. You can help by counting birds at your feeder or out with a field team. You do not need to be an expert but it helps to be familiar with local species. Field counters are placed in a team led by an experienced birder. You will need a pair of binoculars. Also, residents with bird feeders within a count area can participate from home by recording visiting birds on count day. At the end of the day, field and feeder counters gather to socialize at the “count-in” and share stories and refreshments. Registration information for the counts sponsored by the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists is listed below and more details can be found at http://mvfn.ca/  For the Pakenham-Arnprior Christmas Bird Count visit http://mfnc.ca/ for information at the Macnamara Field Naturalists website.

For further information about Audubon Christmas Bird Counts visit http://www.audubon.org/conservation/science/christmas-bird-count

Rideau Ferry Christmas Bird Count

Saturday December 17. The count is centered on Rideau Ferry and includes Perth, most of Smith’s Falls, Murphy’s Point Provincial Park, and several conservation areas. Register with Alison Bentley at alisonbentley@gmail.com or 613-273-4428. Feeder counters contact Judy Buehler at goodlife@myhighspeed.ca or 613-264-8856. The organizers are looking for more feeder counters this year as numbers of counters were down last year.

Carleton Place Christmas Bird Count

Tuesday, December 27. The count area is a 24-km circle centered on the bridge over the Mississippi River in Carleton Place, and includes Almonte, Appleton and Ashton. Contact Iain Wilkes at iain.wilkes@hotmail.com  Feeder counters register with Georgina Doe at 613-257-2103.

 Lanark Highlands Christmas Bird Count

Wednesday, December 30. The count circle is centered on Watson’s Corners and includes Brightside to the north, Middleville to the east, most of Dalhousie Lake to the west, and south to within a km of Balderson. To register contact Marilyn Barnett at mvabarn@superaje.com or  613-259-2269. Feeder Counters register with Marj Montgomery before Christmas at mateetukm@sympatico.ca  or 613-259-3078.

Best of the season to all!