Count volunteers follow specified routes, counting every bird they see or hear all day. It's not just a species tally. All birds are counted all day, giving an indication of the total number of birds in the circle that day.
The public can participate in the annual Christmas Bird Count, a chance to learn about citizen science and help a long-term study that tracks avian species.
The Taos Area Christmas Bird Count, sponsored by the National Audubon Society, will take place Tuesday (Dec. 18).
This is the 119th year of the annual count.
There is a specific methodology to the CBC, and all participants must make arrangements to participate in advance with the team leaders within an established circle, but anyone can participate.
Each count takes place in an established circle 15-miles in diameter and is organized by a count compiler. Count volunteers follow specified routes, counting every bird they see or hear all day. It's not just a species tally. All birds are counted all day, giving an indication of the total number of birds in the circle that day.
The bird count started in 1900 as a way to encourage people to count birds instead of the holiday "side hunt," where people would compete to see how many birds they could shoot. This year, the CBC will host more than 72,000 volunteer bird counters in more than 2,500 locations across the Western Hemisphere, according to Audubon.
The CBC uses the power of volunteers to track the health of bird populations at a scale that scientists could never accomplish alone. Data compiled in the Taos area will record every individual bird and bird species seen in a specified area, contributing to a community science network.
Contact Taos area coordinator, Steve Knox, at email@example.com to participate.
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