Christmas Bird Count: Citizen Science in Action

Christmas Bird Count: Citizen Science in Action
December 14th – January 5th

Hilltown kids participating in a bird count last year at the Chesterfield Gorge. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

For three weeks beginning December 14th, 2009, tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas take part in an adventure that has become a family tradition among generations. Families and students, birders and scientists, armed with binoculars, bird guides and checklists go out on an annual mission – often before dawn. For over one hundred years, the desire to both make a difference and to experience the beauty of nature has driven dedicated people to leave the comfort of a warm house during the Holiday season.

Each of the citizen scientists who annually braves snow, wind, or rain, to take part in the Christmas Bird Count makes an enormous contribution to conservation. Audubon and other organizations use data collected in this longest-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations – and to help guide conservation action.

From feeder-watchers and field observers to count compilers and regional editors, everyone who takes part in the Christmas Bird Count does it for love of birds and the excitement of friendly competition — and with the knowledge that their efforts are making a difference for science and bird conservation.

To find out how you can get involved, click HERE.

Events happening in the Berkshires for the Christmas Count:

  • Saturday, December 19th
    North Berkshire Christmas Count
    Count species in Williamstown, New Ashford, North Adams, and Adams with members of N. Berkshire Audubon. Contact Gary Soucie (458-0309, or Pam Weatherbee (458-3538) for more information. Blizzard date: 12/20
  • Sunday, December 20th
    Central Berkshire Christmas Count
    Join a team and keep the tradition going. Sign up at Members Night (12/1), or contact count leader Tom Collins (499-2799, for departure place and time. Blizzard date: 12/27.
  • Friday, January 1st
    South Berkshire Christmas Count
    Join a team and welcome the new year with some winter birding. Contact René Laubach (637-0320, to sign up or for more information about time and place.

February Bird Count

Another bird count your family can participate in this winter is the Great Backyard Bird Count, a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society. This year the GBBC happens February 12th-15th, 2010.  Click HERE to read more about the GBBC.

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