Sunday, December 23, 2012

Birds Count!

 We just can't help it, birders love to have our  "Merry Little Christmas" Bird Counts!

And doggone if we don't see some of the best birds that way.  A couple years back we had heart-stopping views of White-wing Crossbills at the Mohican Gorge Overlook.  You can read a great post about it- over at Jim McCormac's blog.

White-winged Crossbills in Hemlock
 I am no photographer, but here are a couple crossbills scampering around at eye-level.

Roger Troutman compiles both Wooster and Mohican CBC data.
It is a challenge to get a photo of the participants at the Mohican CBC, as our Amish friends prefer not to be photographed. They are a huge part of this count and do much of the leg-work.  They leave the driving to the non-Amish, or "English."

Northern Mockingbird
Historically, Northern Mockingbird is a great bird for the Wooster Count.  This year we had four in my territory alone.  That seems like a significant change.

Keeping consistent data, year after year tells us which birds are rising in number- like the Mockingbird- and which are in decline.  We have over 100 years of information, thanks to "citizen scientists", folks like you and me.

Evening Grosbeak
We'll hope for some Crossbills again, and you can bet we will be trying hard for the Evening Grosbeaks in Mohican as well.  I spotted them this week, and maybe we can find them again for our big day next Saturday.  See the Greater Mohican Audubon website for details.

I hope you'll join a Christmas Bird Count this year.  I do four counts each year, and find them both rewarding and fun.  The best part: this year there is no charge.  Audubon will compile the information and post it on-line.  Since there will be no magazine printed, they have eliminated the fee.

 But I hope you will join me and send them a little cash anyway. Go right HERE, and make a donation to the National Audubon Society today.  This is important work we do each year and helps scientist get a better understanding how bird populations change locally and globally.  Here's what they have to say:
The data gathered by this army of citizen scientists is critical to Audubon’s bird conservation work in the years ahead.  Past counts have shown that many common birds—ones we have grown up with—are rapidly declining in numbers. 
   The Evening Grosbeak has declined by more than 90 percent.

Female Evening  Grosbeak.
 So join our count and if you are really lucky- you'll get to see one of these!

1 comment:

  1. Our Christmas Bird Count in Lexington is December 26. It's my first bird count and I'm really looking forward to it. We have a pair of Northern Mockingbirds on our farm and I love watching them.