Christmas Bird Counts were top of mind for two writers in our December 2015 issue, which will go on sale at Barnes & Noble on November 3.
Regular columnist Pete Dunne, New Jersey Audubon’s birding ambassador at large and a veteran of many winter counts, describes tried-and-true tactics you can use to increase the number of species you see on your next CBC.
And Sheryl DeVore, chief editor of Meadowlark, the quarterly journal of the Illinois Ornithological Society, and the author of our cover story, describes how she spent the first days of 2015 in far northern Minnesota, near the “Icebox of the Nation,” participating in not one but three Christmas Bird Counts.
Temperatures barely rose above zero while Sheryl counted, but that didn’t prevent her and other hardy counters from equaling the third highest species count in one circle, breaking the record in another, and finding a species that had never been recorded on a count — Golden-crowned Kinglet.
Forty-four species were counted in all. Here’s the list:
Northern Hawk Owl
Great Gray Owl
American Three-toed Woodpecker
Sheryl took part in the Beltrami Island, Baudette, and Roseau Christmas Bird Counts in January 2015.
Join a count
Last winter, birders conducted almost 2,500 Christmas Bird Counts in all 50 states, all Canadian provinces, and several Central and South American countries, and on several Pacific and Caribbean islands. This winter’s count, the 116th, will take place between December 14, 2015, and January 5, 2016.
A count is sure to occur near you. Visit the Audubon website to view a map of local circles, read a history of the Christmas Bird Count, see a summary of the 115th count, and join the fun.
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