The Highlands Plateau Audubon Society will again participate in the National Audubon Society’s 111th annual Christmas Bird Count on Friday, Dec. 16. The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is an early-winter bird census where tens of thousands of volunteers across the U.S. and many other countries in the Western Hemisphere go out for one day to count birds. Families and students, birders and scientists, armed with binoculars, bird guides and checklists go out on an annual mission - often before dawn.
For more than 100 years, the desire to both make a difference and to experience the beauty of nature has driven dedicated people to leave the comfort of a warm house during the holiday season. Each of the “citizen scientists” who annually braves snow, wind, or rain, to take part in the Christmas Bird Count makes an enormous contribution to conservation. Audubon and other organizations use data collected in this longest-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations - and to help guide conservation.
Local CBC participants will cover a specific area of a 15-mile diameter circle on a specific route. And anyone is welcome to participate since inexperienced observers are always out with seasoned veterans.
The count this year will start in early morning. If you would like to be one of these citizen scientists, mark your calendar for Dec. 16 and plan on joining the Highlands Plateau Christmas Count. Contact Edwin Poole, (828)526-2775 or kaywick@ principia.edu to participate.