Christmas Bird Count History
“Prior to the turn of the 20th century, people engaged in a holiday tradition known as the Christmas “Side Hunt”: They would choose sides and go afield with their guns; whoever brought in the biggest pile of feathered (and furred) quarry won.
Conservation was in its beginning stages around that era, and many observers and scientists were becoming concerned about declining bird populations. Beginning on Christmas Day 1900, ornithologist Frank M. Chapman, an early officer in the then nascent Audubon Society, proposed a new holiday tradition – a “Christmas Bird Census” – that would count birds during the holidays rather than hunt them.
So began the Christmas Bird Count.”
Did you know?
- This year is the 117th annual Christmas Bird Count.
- Christmas Bird Counts are conducted between December 14th and January 5, inclusive dates, each season.
- Each count takes place in the same established 15-mile (24km) wide diameter circle every year.
- Every CBC is done by willing and dedicated volunteers.
- CBCs are a critical part of Citizen Science.
- Data provided helps researchers, biologists and wildlife agencies to study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America.
- Lethbridge CBC averages 42 different species per count with 49 species counted in 2015.
- 20,882 Canada Geese were counted in 2015.
- Mallards, Pigeons, Magpies, Chickadees, Starlings, Bohemian Waxwings, House Finches and House Sparrows are some of the most frequent birds counted.
Are you interested in participating?
This year Lethbridge Christmas Bird Count will take place on Sunday, December 18th.
More information can be found on the Audubon or Bird Studies Canada websites or you can contact the Lethbridge CBC Compiler Ken Orich at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at (403) 381-2351.