On Your Mark, Get Set, Count

On Your Mark, Get Set, Count

Michele Berger
Published: 12/14/2010

Cedar waxwing. Image by Ingrid Taylar, Wikimedia Commons.
It’s finally here. The day you’ve been awaiting: The start to the 111th annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count

Between now and January 5, 2011, birders across the country and North America will get out their binocs (if you need a pair, check out this handy guide we ran last year), open their guides books, and start tallying up the birds. It’s not as simple as writing down every bird that crosses your path during this two-week period. Here’s, how it works, from the National Audubon website:
 
Count volunteers follow specified routes through a designated 15-mile (24-km) diameter circle, counting every bird they see or hear all day. It’s not just a species tally—all birds are counted all day, giving an indication of the total number of birds in the circle that day. If observers live within a CBC circle, they may arrange in advance to count the birds at their feeders and submit those data to their compiler. All individual CBCs are conducted in the period from December 14 to January 5 (inclusive dates) each season, and each count is conducted in one calendar day.
 
Still have unanswered inquiries about the count? Check out the Frequently Asked Questions page. Or, if you’re not sure how to find a count in your area, click here. Finally, want to read about some CBC extremes? Check out the Nov-Dec 2010 Audubon

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