And you can participate! For the past 116 years the Audubon has organized the annual Christmas Bird Count where groups all over the country gather between December 14th and January 5th to count birds in a particular area.

Like many people do on bird outings, the number of species and how many of each is recorded and submitted to eBird to help scientists monitor population fluctuations and migration patterns. The Christmas Bird Count bird census was started to replace the tradition of the “side hunt” where men would go out and hunt as many birds in a day as possible.

Anyone can participate, just locate your local Audubon chapter, and they’ll have their Christmas Bird count details listed on their site, or look at this map of every count. I’ve counted for the past two years and plan to do it again this weekend. Here is a short writeup I did of my first year’s count at Sepulveda Basin. I highly encourage everyone to check it out and participate in citizen science!

Have you participated in a Christmas Bird Count before?