The Indiana Audubon Society is inviting nature enthusiasts to participate in the National Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count (CBC), the longest-running citizen science survey. From December 14-January 5, birders will take place in this 120+-year-old tradition, many rising before dawn to participate.
This year, the Audubon Christmas Bird Count will mobilize over 72,000 volunteer bird counters in more than 2,500 locations across the Western Hemisphere. Indiana hosts over 50 individual count locations each year. The Audubon Christmas Bird Count utilizes the power of volunteers to track the health of bird populations at a scale that scientists could never accomplish alone. The tradition of counting birds combined with modern technology and mapping is enabling researchers to make discoveries that were not possible in earlier decades.
Birders of all ages are welcome to contribute to this fun, nationwide citizen science project, which provides ornithologists with a crucial snapshot of our native bird populations during the winter months. Each individual count is performed in a count circle with a diameter of 15 miles. In most count circles, some people also watch feeders instead of following routes.
To sign up or for more information about a count in the Indiana area, visit www.indianaaudubon.org/bird-counts. There is no fee to participate and the quarterly report, American Birds is available online. Counts are open to birders of all skill levels, and often sponsored by individual Audubon chapters. Most circles have CDC guidelines in place to ensure a safe experience, whether you’re in the field or one of many home feeder watchers.
To learn more about the Indiana Audubon Society and to search for programs near you, visit them on the web at www.indianaaudubon.org.