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General News · 11th December 2013
Cortes Museum & Archives
Join the CI Christmas Bird Count - December 15th
From December 14 through January 5 families and students, birders and scientists, armed with binoculars, bird guides and checklists go out on an annual mission - often before dawn. From feeder-watchers and field observers to count compilers and regional editors, everyone who takes part in the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) 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.
The data collected by observers over the past century allow researchers, conservation biologists, and other interested individuals to study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America. When combined with other surveys such as the Breeding Bird Survey, it provides a picture of how the continent's bird populations have changed in time and space over the past hundred years.
In the 1980's CBC data documented the decline of wintering populations of the American Black Duck, after which conservation measures were put into effect to reduce hunting pressure on this species. More recently, in 2009, the data were instrumental in Audubon's Birds & Climate Change analysis, which documented range shifts of bird species over time.
The Cortes Island Christmas Bird Count, sponsored by the Museum & Archives Society is planned for December 15th. Participants will be divided into small groups led by an experienced birder, so no prior experience necessary. A hot lunch may be reserved - $13/person. All participants must register: email or call 250-935-6340. A small donation to help cover expenses would be appreciated.