Gardeners who love birds: Participate in 114th Christmas Bird Count

downy woodpecker in Western New York by Terry LeBaron
Downy woodpecker. Photo by Terry LeBaron, courtesy Jamestown Audubon

For many of us, part of the enjoyment of our gardens is watching the birds that come to visit. You can help scientists learn more about the birds in our area by participating in Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count.

The census events take place around Christmastime, from Dec. 14 to Jan. 5.

The Buffalo Audubon Society and Jamestown Audubon will hold events, and beginners are welcome. The events are:

Saturday, Dec. 14

The Jamestown Audubon will hold an event in Warren, PA. For more information on how to participate, call Don Watts at (814) 730-9204.

Sunday, Dec. 15

The Jamestown Audubon will hold an event in Jamestown. For information on how to participate, email Bill Seleen at wseleen@stny.rr.com.

Saturday, Dec. 21

The Buffalo Audubon Society will hold an event from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Meet at Beaver Meadow Audubon Center, 1610 Welch Road, North Java. The building will open at 7 a.m. For more information, email info@buffaloaudubon.org or call (585) 457-3228, or call Chuck Bartlett at (800) 377-1520.

There are other local events as well. You can find other Christmas Bird Counts near you here.

If your home is within the boundaries of a Christmas Bird County circle, you can stay at home and report the birds that visit your feeder on count day as long as you have made prior arrangements with the count compiler. Check out the sign-up link for information on how to contact the compiler.

You can also help by encouraging your friends to fill their feeders so when volunteers walk or drive by there will be lots of activity.

Note: In previous years, there was a $5 charge to participate, but the program is now free, supported by donations alone.

The longest running citizen science survey in the world, the Christmas Bird Count provides critical data on population trends. The data collected by observers over the past century allow researchers, conservation biologists, and other interested individuals to study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America. When combined with other surveys such as the Breeding Bird Survey, it provides a picture of how the continent’s bird populations have changed in time and space over the past hundred years.

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