Birds of a feather

Christmas bird count scheduled for December 30


December 22, 2022

The Audubon Christmas Bird Count is a widespread effort in which an estimated 80,000 volunteers in more than 2600 locations across the U.S., Canada, Caribbean and Latin America will track the health of bird populations at a scale that scientists could not accomplish alone.

Crook County is among the locations where volunteers can help gather valuable data about such things as number of bird species and numbers of each species within set geographic areas on an early winter day. Birders of all ages are invited to contribute to the nationwide science project.

The count has so far provided unbroken data across 123 years on early-winter bird population trends across the Americas. They are compiled into the longest-running database in ornithology and can then be combined with surveys such as the Breeding Bird Survey to create an overall picture of how bird populations have changed.

This data, which provides a long-term picture, is vital in informing strategies to protect birds and their habitat. It has been used in over 300 peer-reviewed articles.

Each count is performed within a circle of 15 miles in diameter. At least ten volunteers are needed, including a compiler to coordinate the count.

The volunteers will then break into small groups and follow assigned routes, counting every bird they see along the way, or watch feeders. Volunteers are asked to bring lunch, water, warm clothing and good footwear, as well as field guides, binoculars and spotting scopes if you have them.

If you would like to volunteer for the local Christmas bird count on December 30, contact Jen at 307-283-2467 or [email protected]. The Sundance count is arranged by the Prairie Hills Aubudon Society of Western South Dakota.


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