49th Christmas Bird Count

  • December 17, 2017
    6:00 am - 5:00 pm

Red Crossbill (c) Mick Thompson

On Sunday, Dec. 17, Evergreen Audubon will conduct the 49th Christmas Bird Count for the Evergreen/Idaho Springs area.  This is one of about 2500 Christmas counts held each year throughout the Western Hemisphere.

On that day we will head out in small groups to find as many species and individual birds as we can in a 15-mile-diameter circle that extends from Robinson Hill Road on the north (north of I-70) to just south of the Brook Forest Inn; and from near Echo Lake on the west to the bottom of Kerr Gulch on the eastern side. Folks of all abilities and ages are encouraged to participate by joining one of our fifteen groups for all, or part, of the day.

If getting outside seems a bit daunting in mid-December, we also need people to stay at home and count the birds that come to their feeders. Barbara Jean Gard will be coordinating the feeder counters again this year, and feeder count forms are available when you sign up to help.

Northern Saw-whet Owl (c) Bill Schmoker

Each year we seem to have several interesting stories that emerge from our day in the field. In 2014 it snowed all day and drove large numbers of Pine Grosbeaks and Cassin’s Finches down from the higher elevations. In 2015 we had gloriously mild weather allowing us to record almost 2000 more individual birds than the prior year, and to set a new record for our area of 57 species. Then, last year was the Year of the Juncos, with 2171 individuals of this one species, and with a great mix of all the various Junco sub-species.

As usual, this year we will continue to pay special attention to the Mountain Chickadees and Pygmy Nuthatches, looking for high counts in the hope that we can retain and/or regain our global dominance over the other 2500 count circles.

After a full day of counting birds, participants are invited to one of Evergreen Audubon’s premier events of the year – the Tally Rally. This is a traditional pot-luck supper, where we share our findings and adventures of the day. This year’s hosts are Lisa and David Wald, who have once again generously made their home available for the occasion.

Please attend Evergreen Audubon’s Dec. 7 chapter meeting where you can learn more about the Christmas Bird Count, talk with area leaders, practice identifying birds, and also sign up to bring a dish to the potluck.

You may register here for the bird counting portion of the day, and I will get in touch with you to help find a group for you to join, or, if you are an old hand at this, you may just get in touch with whatever area leader you have gone out with previously, or you can wait for an area leader to initiate contact. The bottom line – if you want to make sure that you are in the loop, register here, and I will be in touch.

Thanks,

Chuck Aid, Director of Bird Monitoring

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Author: Chuck Aid

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