Posted by: atowhee | November 4, 2013

CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT SEASON

The oldest and most venerable citizen science effort on earth: the annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC). It began back in 1900 with a hand full of counters across a few states. The CBC was seen as a way to counter what was then a major holiday tradition. Everyone who got a new gun for Christmas went out the next day to see how many birds he could shoot.
Now it is usual for more birds to be seen and counted than slaughtered during the Christmas season. And the extensive data base built up over the decades is useful for tracking changes in bird populations and effects of climate change and habitat alteration. You can click here to explore the CBC data online.
This is the 114th annual CBC and counts now take place in many countries across the globe. The database and CBC organization is handled by the National Audubon Society.
Soon I will teach a class on the Christmas Bird Count for Ashland Park and Rec. There will be a lecture on evening of November 14 (Thursday) and then we will do a trial CBC in Ashland on Sunday, Nov. 17. If you want to get into this class contact the Nature Center at North Mountain Park or register online.
REAL CHRISTMAS COUNTS
Medford, Dec. 14
Ashland, Jan, 4…followed by the count dinner at Alex’s Restaurant. We are seeking volunteers for the Ashland count. You don’t have to be an expert, just enthusiastic. As always, a good time is had by all. Let me know if you want to be part of the Ashland or Medford counts.
The Cedar waxwing is a regular species on our Christmas Counts, but the number varies widely. Some years there will be hundreds in the area, the next perhaps only a handful. They wander around in fall and winter in search of good berry and fruit supplies. Crops from native and exotic plants may be radically one year to the next. Waxwings may find fruit on: western juniper, chokecherry, crabapple, blackberry, holly, dogwood, grape vines, mistletoe, madrone, manzanita, huckleberry, feral plum. In winter they may also eat buds on early budding trees like alder.
waxwng grp2 (1280x960)


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