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Contributed by Len McKenzie, YAS

 

The arrival of December heralds a number of holiday traditions and festive celebrations. Among the traditions for birding enthusiasts is the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count, when thousands of intrepid observers throughout the western hemisphere take to the field for one day to make a record of all the birds they see and hear.

Organized by ornithologist Frank Chapman of the American Museum of Natural History in 1900 as an alternative to Christmas Day side hunts, an English shooting tradition, the first Christmas Bird Count was held in 25 U. S. locations and attracted 27 participants. Held every year since then, the Audubon-sponsored CBC is now an international event, with more than 2,000 individual counts, scattered across the Americas, drawing thousands of volunteers.

This year will mark the 118th CBC, the longest-running citizen-science project… Continue reading

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