Christmas Bird Count 2019

10:43 a.m. on January 6, 2019 (EST)
ppine
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4,111 forum posts

Yesterday I spent time in the field with a friend that runs the CBC.   The weather was stormy with dropping pressure, wind and some blowing snow by the afternoon.  Bird activity was lower than usual, but we still managed to find a golden eagle, Ferruginous hawk, sharp-shinned hawk, kestrel, Northern Harriers, Cooper's hawks and about 25 red-tails. 

Total bird counts for the one day tally have been down in the last 5 years.  We have dropped from 20,000 birds to more like 14,000.  The recent drought is likely the reason this has happened.  It is a treat to spend a whole day with someone that really knows birds.   I learn more during the CBC than the rest of the year put together. 

The Audobon Society sponsors bird counts in many locations.   The added benefit yesterday was meeting up with the group after the survey to compare notes and have some Mexican food.  There were some really talented scientists from many different disciplines.  We had a great discussion about taxonomy and one about genetic variations over time.  If you have never tried a bird count, give it a chance.  Enthusiastic people are always welcome. 

9:18 a.m. on January 7, 2019 (EST)
ppine
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4,111 forum posts

For people that spend a lot of time outdoors, it makes perfect sense to understand what you are looking at.   I like to talk with people about forestry out there, so it is a natural thing to learn about new things from other people.  At the bird count we had many different kinds of biologists, but also geologists, lawyers and accountants.  Expand your knowledge by hanging out with people that can teach you something. 

3:24 p.m. on January 7, 2019 (EST)
denis daly
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Ppine two of my friends in other states I have backpacked with help with bird counts..They love it...I understand totally getting involved and learning more about subjects were no familiar with...

9:56 a.m. on January 8, 2019 (EST)
ppine
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4,111 forum posts

It adds a lot to a backpacking trip when people ask some really good questions like "has that valley been glaciated?"  or "why is that stand of white fir taking over?"  The older I get the more I like birds.  It takes a certain amount of patience. 

10:10 a.m. on January 8, 2019 (EST)
Patman
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good stuff! My Mom was a donating member of the Audubon Society even though she had little money. She was confined to a bed for the last several years of her life and bird feeders were a major source of happiness for her. Thanks for the mention which sparked these memories for me. 

11:31 a.m. on January 8, 2019 (EST)
Alicia MacLeay @Alicia
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I love birds. I consider myself an accidental bird watcher, since I don't go out specifically to find birds, but end up looking for them and trying to identify them.

Thanks for sharing this, ppine, and for the encouragement to learn more about the world around us.

11:46 a.m. on January 8, 2019 (EST)
ppine
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4,111 forum posts

Birds attract really good humans. 

May 29, 2020
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