By Jenny Leonard
The longest running citizen science survey in the world kicks off December 14.
Tens of thousands of volunteers are expected to take part in the Audubon Christmas Bird Count, which continues through January 5.
HOW THE COUNT HELPS BIRDS
The data collected by observers over the past century allow researchers, conservation biologists, and other interested individuals to study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America.
When combined with other surveys such as the Breeding Bird Survey, it provides a picture of how the continent’s bird populations have changed in time and space over the past hundred years.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
Participants can count birds in the field or from their bird feeders if they live inside a designated count area.
It’s free to participate.
Visit audubon.org to search for a circle near you and learn more about how to sign up.
As an alternative, you may be interested in getting involved in the Great Backyard Bird Count organized by Audubon with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. It takes place President’s Day weekend each February and you can count the birds each day in your backyard/community and then enter the results online.