Letter: Join the annual Christmas Bird Count
For the 120th year, the annual Christmas Bird Count of the National Audubon Society will take place across the Western Hemisphere from Dec. 14 through Jan. 5. Tens of thousands of volunteer bird lovers will participate in 15 mile-wide circle counts — to tally all birds seen or heard on a given day.
Here in Eagle County, the Christmas Bird Count will take place on Saturday, Jan. 4. Beginning at 8 a.m., participants will meet in Eagle, at the home of Ruth Moran, for a light breakfast and instructions, before going out in small circle groups to add their observations to 12 decades of Audubon data. A potluck lunch will follow at 2 p.m. at the Eagle Public Library.
Participating in the Christmas Bird Count is both an educational, meaningful and joyfully direct way for people of all ages to contribute vital data, to improve strategies to protect birds and their habitat. In this upcoming year of the 2020 U.S. Census, Audubon bird lovers can be a part of one of the largest and longest-running wildlife censuses in the world.
Last year, the 119th Christmas Bird Count featured a record 79,425 observers out in the field. This amounted to 2,615 circle groups, surveying approximately 5 percent of North America’s continent — with 1975 circle counts in the United States, 460 in Canada and 180 in Latin America, the Caribbean, Bermuda and the Pacific Islands. These dedicated bird lovers and volunteers tallied up over 48 million birds and 2,600 different species. This totaled over one-fourth of the world’s bird populations.
The Audubon Christmas Bird Count is an Eagle County community-wide science project, organized locally by Jan and Jerry Fedrizzi and JoAnn Riggle, all longtime avid birders. There is no fee to participate, and all skill levels are welcome. Audubon’s free Bird Guide app adds to the fun.
A brand new feature for this year’s 120th Christmas Bird Count is “CBC Live.” It is a crowdsourced, hemisphere-wide storytelling source, which uses Esri mapping software to interactively create a “story map.” Users can upload their very own bird photos and real-time short experiences to join others across the hemisphere and “paint” a global live picture.
To join the Christmas Bird Count fun and for more information, please RSVP to Jerry Fedrizzi by Dec. 19 at (970) 328-6961 or via email at email@example.com.
Maria Chrypinski White