WildBirds.com eNewsletter 
December 2011

If you have not already signed up to participate in your local Audubon Christmas Bird Count you need to call NOW!

Even if you are just a beginner the Christmas Bird Count is for you! You will be paired with others who will happily show you the ropes as you count birds for a day.

It is really great fun and a tradition you need to start.

In less than a week, nearly 60,000 people will set out to carry on a tradition that is more than a century old. The 112th annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is the largest, and possibly most important, census of North American birds that takes place every year.

Most of the counters who will set out armed with a notepad and binoculars, often bundled against the cold, are not trained scientists. They are everyday people, volunteers. This volunteer effort is the largest, oldest crowd-science effort on the planet.

The Christmas Bird Count exemplifies the spirit of the National Audubon Society, a national community of bird-lovers, conservationists, and advocates. They share a reverence for nature and a belief that by saving birds and their habitats, we also save ourselves.

Both Audubon and the CBC trace their roots to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Audubon movement grew out of public outrage at the slaughter of wild birds, killed so that their feathers could be used to decorate the hats of fashionable women. This was the case with the magnificent Great Egret, hunted to near extinction in the early 1900s, and now the symbol of the National Audubon Society.

The Christmas Bird Count, proposed by one of Audubon's founders, Frank Chapman, began in 1900 as an alternative to bird-hunting competitions. In these contests, called side-hunts, hunters would choose sides to see who could kill the most birds. Chapman challenged birders to count rather than kill birds. This "new kind of hunt" became the Christmas Bird Count.

Twenty-seven birders in 25 locations accepted that first challenge and they reported a total of 90 species.
A century later, from Alaska to the Amazon, tens of thousands of people volunteer every December to count birds. Last year, 62,624 counters tallied more than 61 million individual birds.

Audubon scientists use the accumulated CBC data to track critical bird trends. Those data are used to determine where to keep open land and how to protect breeding and feeding grounds to keep bird species healthy. Recent analyses have revealed the dramatic impact that climate change is already having on bird populations across the continent.

Prepare For the CBC

Christmas Bird Count Quizzes 

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Thayer Birding Software's new version 4 DVD for Windows and Mac computers contains hundreds of quizzes designed specifically to help you learn the birds on your local Christmas Bird Count!


In addition, the images in these quizzes show you the birds in winter plumage! You can take four different types of quizzes: Multiple Choice, Fill-in-the-Blank, Flash Card or Pick One (my favorite.)


If you do not already have this great software loaded on your computer, now is the time! To get free shipping between now and January 15th, order one of the Thayer DVDs and enter the promotional code  CBC  during checkout from the Online Nature Mall.


Pick One Quiz
Pick One Quiz


2012 Calendars



Gold Edition DVD

The Ultimate Birding DVD for Windows
GOld Edition 

Be able to identify 957 birds of North America - including rare and accidental species. Export songs and images to your iPod or iPhone. 


Thayer Birding Software

New Version 4
For Windows and Mac
Birds of North America 

700 Species with songs, range maps, ID Wizard quizzes and more!


A Gift Card is Perfect for the Holidays!

Give the Gift of Nature!
 Gift Certificates



Cornell Lab Audio CDs

For the US and the World
Learn the bird songs before your next big birding trip. CDs also available for frogs and mammals! 


Quick Links


Top Quality Optics


Feed Hungry Birds

Good Birding!
Pete Thayer & The Wildbirds.com Team