On December 28, 2022

Participate in this year’s annual Christmas Bird Count, Jan. 1

Rutland County Audubon’s annual Christmas Bird Count will take place this year on Jan. 1. Birds spotted within a 7 1/2 mile radius of Mead’s Falls in Center Rutland will be counted by teams of field birders and feeder-watchers in this count circle. Results will be tallied and posted on e-Bird. Interested persons can contact birding@rutlandcountyaudubon.org for information or to sign up.

The Christmas Bird Count is a census of birds in the western hemisphere, performed annually in the early northern-hemisphere winter by volunteer birdwatchers and administered by the National Audubon Society. The purpose is to provide population data for use in science, especially conservation biology, though many people participate for recreation. The CBC is the longest-running citizen science survey in the world.

Prior to the turn of the 20th Century, hunters engaged in a holiday tradition known as the Christmas “side hunt”. They would choose sides and go afield with their guns—whoever brought in the biggest pile of feathered (and furred) quarry won. Conservation was in its beginning stages in that era, and many observers and scientists were becoming concerned about declining bird populations.

Beginning on Christmas Day 1900, ornithologist Frank M. Chapman, an early officer in the then-nascent Audubon Society, proposed a new holiday tradition—a Christmas Bird Census that would count birds during the holidays rather than hunt them.



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