2012 is rapidly becoming one of the most interesting years in decades for birders!
First the droughts and fires caused unusual sightings out west. Then Hurricane Sandy pushed rare seabirds into New England and blew birds like the Northern Lapwing over from Great Britain. And now the northern US is being invaded by Finches, Crossbills and Evening Grosbeaks that normally winter in Canada!
This is the perfect time to participate in your local Audubon Christmas Bird Count. Even if you are just a beginning birder your help is needed! One hundred thirteen years and counting!!
Help the scientists at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology by monitoring activity at your bird feeders this winter - sign up for Project FeederWatch today and get started.
Finally, how many bird books do YOU own? We recently conducted a survey and found that the average birder owns 12 bird books. If you are looking for suggestions to expand your birding library, check out our suggestions below - just in time to let Santa know what is on your wish list!
113th Christmas Bird Count
December 14th - Jan 5th
The Christmas Bird Count season is December 14 through January 5 each year. Your local count will occur on one day between those inclusive dates. If you have more than one local count, they will probably be conducted on different dates within the CBC season.
Since the Christmas Bird Count began over a century ago, it has relied on the dedication and commitment of volunteer citizen scientists. In other words, it all starts with you!
To prepare, check out the 300 Christmas Bird Count quizzes in Thayer's Birds of North America DVD. All the birds in the quiz appear in winter plumage!
You can find a link to your local Audubon Society at WildBirds.com. Just go to the page with your state or province and look for the Organizations listed on the right.
Monitor Your Bird Feeders This Winter
Project FeederWatch is a winter-long survey of birds that visit feeders at backyards, nature centers, community areas, and other locales in North America. FeederWatchers periodically count the birds they see at their feeders from November through early April and send their counts to Project FeederWatch.
FeederWatch data help scientists track broadscale movements of winter bird populations and long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance. You can even see the results of your observations.