Every birdwatcher is invited to participate in the most comprehensive citizen science survey, known as the annual Christmas Bird Count, or CBC, which will take place on the 17th of December, 2016.
This event is organized in Timmins by the National Audubon Society, an organization which saves birds as well as their habitat across the American continent. In the 2015 annual Christmas Bird Counts, two species of birds joined the other 45 which were already on the researchers’ list.
Besides the discovery of the snow owl and the White-throated sparrow, the volunteers counted 27 bald eagles too. More than 72,000 birdwatchers participate in this month’s event in over 2,500 locations throughout the United States.
The officials from the Audubon Society underline that such a large-scale project would have never been possible if it hadn’t been for the volunteers. Thanks to their devotion, the experts are now able to monitor the health of hundreds of species living in different ecosystems.
The annual Christmas Bird Count is more than a scientific project, but a tradition that goes back over a century. The first bird count was organized in 1900 at the initiative of Dr. Frank Chapman, Bird-Lore founder, who thought that there should be a bird count instead of the standard “side hunt” during which teams tried to shoot as many birds as many possible.
Thanks to his bright idea, there have been 116 years since volunteers have been counting birds. Therefore, the Audubon Society has an extensive archive containing reliable data about the birds.
With this project, scientists aim to observe how birds deal with climate change. Until now, they have established that 314 bird species in North America are suffering the consequences of global warming.
The efforts of birdwatchers and scientists are backed by mapping and technological advances which enable the experts to make groundbreaking discoveries which we could only dream of one hundred years ago.
Any birdwatcher can participate in the annual Christmas Bird Count to help ornithologists perform a more comprehensive analysis on the current situation of the endemic bird populations especially during the winter when they have to survive the snow and the freezing temperatures.
Every count will be performed in a specific count circle of roughly 15 miles. The circle will include ten volunteers and one compiler.
Image Source: Static Flickr