Three new species broaden Christmas Bird Count

Published: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 02:12 PM.

This year all three scoter species were observed, a feat only achieved once before in the history of the local CBC. The scoter is a sea duck that breeds in the far north and spends most of its time offshore when in its southern range.

According to the Audubon website, the CBC helps inform conservationists about local trends in bird populations and plan strategies to protect birds and their habitat. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency included Audubon's climate change work from CBC data as one of 26 indicators of climate change in its 2012 report.

Great Backyard Bird Count coming up

The CBC is over, but now it’s time to gear up for the 16th annual Great Backyard Bird (GBBC) Count Feb. 14-17. The GBBC is a four-day event that engages bird watchers in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where birds are across the U.S. and Canada .

The GBBC is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society to learn more about how birds are doing. Last year, participants turned in more than 104,285 checklists online, creating the continent's largest instantaneous snapshot of bird populations ever recorded. Watchers reported observing 623 species and nearly 17.4 million individual birds.

Anyone can take part in the GBBC, from novice bird watchers to experts. Participants count birds for 15 minutes or more on one or more days of the event and report their sightings online at

On the website, participants can explore real-time maps and charts that show what others are reporting during the count. The site has tips to help identify birds and special materials for educators. Participants may also enter the GBBC photo contest by uploading images taken during the count. Many images will be featured in the GBBC website’s photo gallery. All participants are entered in a drawing for prizes that include bird feeders, binoculars, books, CDs, and many other great birding products.

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