Christmas Bird Count
|When: Jan 04, 2014 from 07:00 am to 05:00 pm|
What’s the oldest and grandest tradition in birding? Christmas Bird Counts, of course! All over the Americas, birders will be participating in one-day counts between Dec. 14, 2013 and Jan. 5, 2014. Portland Audubon counters will be heading out Saturday, Jan. 4.
By Wink Gross, compiler, Portland Christmas Bird Count
The Portland Christmas Bird Count wants YOU…
…to count birds on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014! Whether spending an entire day in the field or even just an hour watching your bird feeder, you can contribute significantly to our knowledge of birdlife in the Portland area — even if you’re a beginning birder. The Audubon Christmas Bird Count is the longest running “citizen science project” in North America. The results have provided critical information on the status and changes in bird populations over the 114 years it has been conducted. Please consider helping out this year!
Begun in 1900 as an alternative to the traditional wanton slaughter of anything that flew during Christmas Day “side hunts,” hundreds of Christmas Bird Counts are now conducted throughout the Western Hemisphere, and they continue to contribute valuable scientific data to the longest existing record of bird population trends. Naturally, everyone likes the idea of contributing to science, but the real reason they’ve exploded in popularity? They’re so much fun!
All over the Americas, birders will be participating in one-day counts between Dec. 14, 2013 and Jan. 5, 2014. This winter, our 88th Portland Count will be held on Saturday, Jan. 4. The Audubon Society of Portland conducted its first Christmas Count in 1926. Last year a record 238 field observers and 152 feeder watchers found 130 species, also a record. Those 390 participants made the Portland CBC the largest in the U.S. and second only to Edmonton in the Americas. Please join us this year!
The best way to participate in the Christmas Bird Count is as a field observer. It’s a great way for birders of all levels to enjoy a day outdoors and sharpen their birding skills. You will also have the opportunity to meet others who share your interest in birds and you’ll discover some good local spots to find birds. And you will contribute to scientific knowledge. In fact, the Christmas Bird Count is an excellent way for the amateur birder to advance ornithology: The data are sent to the Laboratory of Ornithology at Cornell University, where over the years Christmas Bird Count records have been used to study changes in bird populations and wintering ranges. A quite amazing bibliography of Christmas Bird Count research and the entire historical record of all Christmas Bird Counts may be found at birds.audubon.org/data-research.
Each Christmas Bird Count attempts to count all the birds in a 15-mile-diameter circle on one given day. In addition to the Portland Count, roughly 50 other Counts will be conducted in Oregon and SW Washington during the 3 weeks surrounding the holidays. A list of Counts in NW Oregon and SW Washington can be found below — and it will be updated regularly as Counts are added, so check often!
Want to participate as a field observer in the Portland Christmas Bird Count? Look at the map of the Portland CBC circle on this page and pick an area you would like to help cover. (It need not be where you reside.) Contact the area leader, who will tell you where and what time to meet on January 4. The area leaders will put together teams to balance birding skills and cover as much of their area as possible. Most teams go out for the whole day, 7am–5pm, but you can usually make arrangements if you need to stop earlier. Can’t decide which area? Contact me, Wink Gross, at email@example.com or 503-226-3842.
Can’t do the Portland Count on January 4? Check out the other Counts around the state. Pick one that suits your schedule, and contact the compiler for that specific count. Check this site often since it will be frequently updated.
Feeder Watchers Needed, Too!
The other, and equally important, way to participate is as a Feeder Watcher. The feeder you watch must be within the 15-mile-diameter CBC circle (please check your location on the detailed Google map at tinyurl.com/26pmmpf) — but even if you can watch for only an hour, your observations will be helpful. Last year, the best bird found on the Portland CBC was an Ovenbird spotted by an alert Feeder Watcher in the Laurelhurst neighborhood.
Want to be a Feeder Watcher? Check your location first at tinyurl.com/26pmmpf to be sure the feeder you’ll watch is within the 15-mile-diameter circle, and download the Feeder Watcher checklist. Remember, only birds seen on January 4 “count”!
Area Leaders for Portland CBC
- Area 1 (Columbia Riparian):
- Area 2 (Southeast Portland):
- Area 3 (Lake Oswego):
- Area 4 (Beaverton):
503-797-1940 or 503-329-5003
- Area 5 (Northwest Hills/Forest Park):
971-222-6119 or 503-640-1123