Amateur bird watchers and nature lovers are invited by the National Audubon Society to participate in the annual Christmas bird count which will commence on Wednesday and will last until the 5th of January.
Dubbed the world’s largest field study, the annual Christmas bird count reunites people from all over the globe. Using the information gathered by volunteers, the scientists can study bird migration patterns and population health on a larger scale – a feat which they could have not achieved on their own.
The annual bird count event organized by the Natural Audubon Society is free of charge and anyone can participate regardless of age.
The participants will be led by a senior bird watch, who will also have the job of cataloging the group’s finding. In addition, the volunteers will be split into several teams, and each team will form a 15-mile radius circus.
Each time they see or heard a bird nearby, they must report it to the senior bird watcher who, in turn, will pen down the information. Subsequently, the information is sent to the National Audubon Society to be analyzed by ornithologists.
According to the data from last year’s Christmas bird watch, more than 70,000 volunteers from Bermuda, Bahamas, the Caribbean, Latin American, US, and Canada went out into the field to spot birds in the name of science.
Furthermore, there were 2,505 count circles in total, out of which 1,902 were in the United States. As a result, more than 58,000,000 birds have been spotted and a total of 2,607 different species. The data gathered during the project helped scientists to write over 200 papers.
Another interesting thing found during the 2015 bird count was that the northern bobwhite bird population has started to decline. David Yarnold, the acting president of the natural society, declared that this is a great opportunity to learn something about birds and to spend time chatting with other nature enthusiasts about your hobby and all for a good cause.
So, if you want to join the annual bird count, please send an e-mail to the National Audubon Society. As for the event itself, dress yourself in warm clothes, because you’ll be spending a great deal in the great outdoors, and bring a pair of binoculars.
If you have a smartphone, you can download the bird watch application which will give you info about the species of birds encountered along the way.
Image source: Flickr