Christmas Bird Count
115th Annual Event
Longest running Citizen Science survey in the world!
This year, National Audubon Society will be hosting the 115th Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count. Across the USA and select locations in the western hemisphere, the count will take place Dec 14, 2014 to January 5, 2015.
Now in its 115th year, it is the longest-running citizen science project in the world and has a direct impact on conservation efforts across the hemisphere. Your efforts make all the difference. You can see how Audubon scientists are using Christmas Bird Count data to track bird ranges in the face of climate change in this Audubon article.
Tens of thousands of participants know that it is also a lot of fun.
Data from the over 2,300 location circles are entered after the count and become available for researchers - and the public - to query. And locally the Peoria Audubon Society sponsors 3 Christmas counts
Peoria Count Circle - Christmas Bird Count
How does a bird count work?
Teams of birders go "into the field" in a defined area within the 15-mile diameter count circle and take a census of birds. [Peoria count circle is shown above. A separate count circle is defined for Chautauqua and for Chillicothe.] This means that each bird the team sees is identified by species and counted. With large flocks, a scientific estimate is made on the number in the flock. The time and distance traveled (both on foot and in a vehicle) is logged. Each team is responsible to report on the species they find within their areas.
How can I learn more and volunteer to
How do I go on a count?
Contact one (or more) of the above count organizers to go out and count birds. In each of the identified regions within a count circle, a team leader will contact the team members to get organized and discuss any logistics or answer any questions.
What if I am a novice and not good at identifying a species?
Novice birders are teamed up with people more seasoned at identifying and counting the expected species. It is a great opportunity for a beginning birder to go out and learn more about the diversity of birds around us. The pace is leisurely and, although the data is scientifically valid, it is important to take your time and have fun! Each team determines where and when to take breaks - which takes on an increased importance when the temperatures are low. Peoria Audubon encourages beginning birders to join in the count. Each team leader takes pride in making the experience enjoyable for all participants.
Keep watching the Calendar of Events for details on Peoria Audubon and other local activities. The public are always welcome! We would like to see you there!
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