Getting Involved

A Blog for Local Action

Christmas Bird Count

January, 2016

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.