From December through January tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas take part in an annual mission: The Christmas Bird Count. For over one hundred years, the desire to both make a difference and to experience the beauty of nature has driven dedicated families and students, birders and scientists to brave the winter weather, armed with binoculars, bird guides and checklists , to count the birds!
Each of these citizen scientists make 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 action.
On December 21, 2013 several Morris Arboretum staff members participated in this annual tradition. Of the birds sighted, some of the most notable were:
- A flock of 220 Snow Geese
- Cormorants, Mallards, and Wood Ducks
- Wood Thrush
- Brown Creepers
- Carolina wren
- Red-tailed hawk
- White-throated sparrow
- Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
And perhaps the most exciting sighting: A pair of Bald Eagles spotted at Bloomfield Farm!
Pictured left to right: Carolina Wren, Red-tailed Hawk, White-throated Sparrow (Photos by Susan Marshall).
Visit the National Audubon website for more information about the census and how you can participate in 2014.