Saturday, December 13, 2008

109th Bird Count: Dec 14, 2008 - Jan 5, 2009

Christmas Bird Count Map
a news release of Michigan Audubon Society

From December 14, 2008 through January 5, 2009, tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas will take part in an adventure that has become a family tradition among generations. Families and students, birders and scientists, armed with binoculars, bird guides and checklists will head out on an annual mission - often before dawn. For over one hundred 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 in the middle of winter.

Each of the citizen scientists who brave snow, wind, or rain, to take part in the Christmas Bird Count 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.

From feeder-watchers and field observers to count compilers and regional editors, everyone who takes part in the Christmas Bird Count does it for love of birds and the excitement of friendly competition -- and with the knowledge that their efforts are making a difference for science and bird conservation.

The data collected by observers over the past century provides a picture of how the continent's bird populations have changed in time and space over the past hundred years. In the 1980's CBC data documented the decline of wintering populations of the American Black Duck, after which conservation measures were put into effect to reduce hunting pressure on this species. More recently, in 2007, the data were instrumental in the development of two Audubon State of the Birds Reports - Common Birds in Decline, which revealed that some of America's most beloved and familiar birds have taken a nosedive over the past forty years, and WatchList 2007, which identified 178 rarer species in the continental U.S. and 39 in Hawaii that are imperiled. These two reports helped scientists and policy-makers to both identify threats to birds and habitat, and promote broad awareness of the need to address them.

For more information in Mason County contact Carole Olson
For more information in Lake County contact Bonnie & Janie Stout
For more information in Manistee County contact Brian Allen
For more information in Oceana County contact Colleen Walsh
These links are checked on the date of the article. As the article ages, some links may become invalid

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