12/21/2011 1:44 PM
Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory will sponsor the Barr Lake Christmas Bird Count (CBC) on January 2, one of 48 CBC circles being surveyed in Colorado during the holiday season. The count is open to birders of all skill levels. Last year in the Barr Lake circle, 21 volunteers counted 27,446 birds of 63 species.
The world’s longest-running citizen-science survey, the CBC is organized by the National Audubon Society and was started in 1900 by Frank Chapman, founder of Bird-Lore (which evolved into Audubon magazine). Tens of thousands of volunteers throughout North America will brave winter weather to add to more than a century of data. Scientists rely on the remarkable trend data of the CBC to better understand how birds are faring in North America and beyond.
Volunteers for the Barr Lake count will meet at 7 a.m. at RMBO’s Old Stone House headquarters at 14500 Lark Bunting Lane, south off of Bromley Lane just east of Brighton. Hot beverages and donuts will be available as participants organize into seven groups to cover the count area. Volunteers should bring snacks, lunch, water, and their birding optics and field guides. After meeting back at the Stone House for lunch and a progress check, participants will fan out again to complete the count. Register here or contact compiler Chuck Hundertmark at chundertmark8[at]gmail.com or 303-604-0531.
All CBC counts are conducted from December 14 through January 5 each season, with each individual count occurring on a single calendar day. New participants join an established group that includes at least one experienced birdwatcher. Volunteers follow specified routes through a designated 15-mile (24-km) diameter circle, or they can arrange in advance to count the birds at home feeders inside the circle and submit the results to a designated compiler.
With 2,215 counts involving 62,624 people tallying more than 60 million birds, last year’s CBC shattered records. Counts took place in all U.S. states and Canadian provinces, plus 107 count circles in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Islands.
Photo and story submitted by Chuck Hundertmark. Photo: This Winter Wren was one of 27,446 birds surveyed in 2010’s Barr Lake CBC.