The National Audubon Society invites birdwatchers to participate in the longest-running community science, the annual Audubon Christmas Count (CBC). On Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022, birders and nature enthusiasts in northern Wright County will take part in this tradition, many rising before dawn to participate.This annual census of local birds covers the Monticello, Buffalo, Silver Creek, Maple Lake, Chatham areas and portions of Marysville, Corinna, and Rockford townships.
Residents are encouraged to fill their yard birdfeeders to attract birds to these areas. Counters will look for both common and unusual birds. A Snowy Owl may appear in Wright County this year as these Canadian residents have already been seen in several areas of the state.
This year, the Audubon Christmas Bird Count will mobilize nearly 80,000 volunteer bird counters in more than 2,600 locations across the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America. The Audubon Christmas Bird Count utilizes the power of volunteers to track the health of bird populations at a scale that scientists could never accomplish alone. Data compiled in Wright County will record every individual bird and bird species seen in a specified area, contributing to a vast community science network that continues a tradition stretching back 120 years.
When combined with other surveys such as the Breeding Bird Survey, Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count provides a picture of how the continent's bird populations have changed in time and space over the past hundred years. The long-term perspective is vital for conservationists. It informs strategies to protect birds and their habitat, and helps identify environmental issues with implications for people as well. Christmas Bird Count data have been used in more than 300 peer-reviewed articles.
Birders of all ages are welcome to contribute to this fun, nationwide community science project, which provides ornithologists with a crucial snapshot of our native bird populations during the winter months. Each individual count is performed in a count circle with a diameter of 15 miles. At least ten volunteers, including a compiler to coordinate the process, count in each circle. The volunteers break up into small parties and follow assigned routes, which change little from year to year, counting every bird they see. In most count circles, some people also watch feeders instead of following routes.
Interested birders must arrange with the count compiler in advance to participate. To sign up for the local count, please contact Claudia Egelhoff, 651-455-1955. To look for a count circle near you go to Audubon’s www.christmasbirdcount.org. Using the map you can contact the circle compiler to arrange to participate.
The Audubon Christmas Bird Count is a free community science project organized by the National Audubon Society. Counts are open to birders of all skill levels and Audubon's free Bird Guide app makes it even easier to learn more.
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon’s state programs, nature centers, chapters and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905, Audubon’s vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation organization. Learn more at www.audubon.org and @audubonsociety.