Every tally counts toward conservation. - Gary Langham, Ph.D., Vice President and Chief Scientist, National Audubon Society
History of the Christmas Bird Count and Message from the National Audubon Society
"In 1900, Dr. Frank Chapman proposed a new holiday tradition to help rather than hunt birds. A promising group of conservationists in the forming Audubon movement accepted his challenge. What began with 27 enthusiastic birders and a count of 89 species is now the longest-running citizen science project in the world. Last year marked the 115th year of the Audubon Christmas BirdCount and broke records with 72,653 observers and more than 63 million birds tallied.
This year’s 116th Audubon Christmas Bird Count has begun and will once again gather essential data for shaping our understanding of birds and how we can help them. Fueling conservation work year after year, Christmas BirdCount data has been used as a basis for landmark research such as Audubon’s 2014 Birds and Climate Change Report and reports by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service which help guide bird conservation efforts."
Learn more here about the Audubon Christmas Bird Count or find a count near you!
A Message from Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society
The 116th CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT for Western Cuyahoga Audubon, west side of Cuyahoga County, Cleveland, Ohio will be held Sunday, December 27, 2015.
“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas …” gaah, another Christmas carol in my head.
Not because of the upcoming holidays, but because of the CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT. Leaves are just barely turning color, yet I am thinking ahead to the Christmas Bird Count for the west side of Cleveland which will be held on Sunday, December 27, 2015. This is also known as the Lakewood Count since the center point of our count circle is located in Lakewood, Ohio.
For those familiar or unfamiliar with what a Christmas Bird Count is, it is the longest running “citizen science” project with over 100 years of data. Data collected goes to the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology’s database giving researchers a glimpse of bird species that are around at the end of December.
Each year is different but when data over many years is analyzed trends begin to appear and questions raised. Are the birds hanging around in the winter because the weather has gotten milder? Is food more prevalent? Are species seen where they have not been seen before? Are we just better birders?
Last year the Lakewood Christmas Bird Count tallied 78 species on count day with 2 additional species during count week. I know we can do great things for 2015!
Christmas Bird Count Logistics 2015
It is NOT too early to sign up to participate in the Christmas Bird Count. The portion of the west side this count takes in a lot of the western lakefront going slightly into Lorain County around the Avon Lake, Avon and North Ridgeville, south to the northern border of Strongsville and east to Brooklyn and some of Parma Heights, Ohio.
The WCAS website shows (here) the count circle and a list of areas needing coverage. We can ALWAYS have people walk around their neighborhoods, small parks, cemeteries and any other place to count birds as long as it is within the circle.
Some groups or individuals choose to be out early in the morning, some a little later. Some individuals go “owling” in the pre-dawn hours or later that evening.
All species as well as individual birds are counted, and yes, this does include House Sparrows, Rock Pigeons and European Starlings. Some groups and individuals walk in areas, others drive from spot to spot. No matter what mode of transportation, it is great to get as much of our count circle covered as possible. There is even the opportunity to tally the birds at your feeder that day … but remember it HAS to be within our count circle. As a participant you may consider being out part of the day or all day.
Be Sure to Attend the Christmas Bird Count Volunteer "Thank You" Dinner
The Christmas Bird Count is free, but if you would like to make a donation to National Audubon Society to help in compiling the information which will be available electronically only, you may do so at our “thank you” dinner. A catered dinner will be held at the Rocky River Nature Center beginning at 5:30 p.m. that Sunday where we will tally the species and initial numbers.
Please contact Nancy Howell at 440-891-1710 (home) or email, or 216-231-4600 ext. 3225 (work) or email for more information, to sign up for an area and for further information about the “thank you” dinner.
The Feathered Flyer blog publishes human interest stories about birding and habitat conservation.
After watching, ‘My Painted Trillium Quest' by Tom Fishburn, Kim Langley, WCAS Member said, “Wonderful! It was a lift just knowing that such a site exists and is being protected!”
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Bird Walk Reports
Christmas Bird Count-Lakewood Circle
Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society
4310 Bush Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44109
Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your donation is tax-deductible. The tax ID number is: 34-1522665. If you prefer to mail your donation, please send your check to: Nancy Howell, Western Cuyahoga Audubon Treasurer, 19340 Fowles Rd, Middleburg Hts, OH 44130. © 2020 Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society. All rights reserved.