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Science & NatureJoin the Audubon Christmas Bird Count

Join the Audubon Christmas Bird Count

Once again it is the Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC) season!

This is the 120th year of Christmas Bird Counts and there are three planned for our area; Rideau Ferry, Carleton Place, and Lanark Highlands.

Photo: Brent Eades

Birders and nature enthusiasts in the three CBCs and surrounding areas can join citizen scientists throughout the Americas and participate in the Audubon Society’s longest-running wintertime tradition, the Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count.

Volunteers are essential to the success of the CBC. Participants only need a pair of binoculars. They do not need to be experts but they should be familiar with local bird species. In any case, participants in the field counts will be placed in a team led by an experienced birder and everyone is welcome. As well residents with bird feeders within a count area can also help by listing all birds at their feeder or in their yard on count day

This year we will be without the participation of Howard Robinson due to his sudden passing. He support-ed the area CBCs for many years and dedicated countless hours to MVFN activities which he led and/or participated in. His smile, enthusiasm and many excellent pictures of birds will be missed. I know all of us are remembering him fondly and he will be a constant presence looking through our binoculars during each count.

Thousands of individuals participate in counts throughout the Americas between December 14 and January 5 each year. Every CBC volunteer is an important contributor, helping to shape the overall direction of bird conservation. Birds Canada and its partner, the National Audubon Society in the United States rely on data from the CBC database to monitor bird populations.

The CBC 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 citi-zen-based conservation effort. The first Audubon bird count in Carleton Place took place in 1944.

For more information or to register for the CBC at any of the 3 count circles please contact one of the following CBC Coordinators:

Count Date CBC Coordinator Contact
Rideau Ferry Dec 14th Alison Bentley
Carleton Place Dec 27th Iain Wilkes
Lanark Highlands Dec 30th Marilyn Barnett


Best of the Season to All




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