The 2015 Nokesville Christmas Bird Count was held on December 27, 2015. The National Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count is the nation's longest-running citizen science bird project with a history of counts for 115 years. The Nokesville circle is one of 1,888 surveyed in the United States for the 2014-2015 count. For a complete summary of the local results visit the PWCA Christmas Bird Count report. For complete results at the national level, visit the National Audubon Society's report.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? Numerous studies report that there has been a sharp decline in common birds in the United States, with losses of 50% or more over just the past 40 years. The 2014 Watch List by the North American Bird Conservation Initiative, now lists 228 species that are endangered, threatened or at risk of becoming endangered. There are several causes for this alarming that include loss of habitat, global warming and non-native plant species.
The Christmas Bird Count provides a substantial data base for research in bird populations. More than 200 peer-reviewed articles have been published using the data collected in these annual surveys. Additionally, the data are used by government and private agencies to develop policies, resource development and regulations which affect birds.
WHAT YOU CAN DO. First of all, you do not have to be an expert to participate in the Christmas Bird Count. Every team has one or two excellent birders, but beginners and less experienced observers are welcome to be on a team. It is a great way to get introduced to birding. Additionally, you can join local bird walks such as the one conducted at Merrimac Farm WMA the last Sunday of every month.
You can also be an important part of the effort to save our bird populations for our children and future generations. There are many opportunities to work to help protect habitat, promote sound agriculture policies, protect wetlands, promote biodiversity and fight global warming. Consider as a first step joining your local conservation organization. In Prince William County, please consider joining PWCA.
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