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General News · 6th December 2016
All participants must pre-register – email or call the Museum at 250-935-6340 & leave message with your phone number.

Each year the Cortes Island Museum sponsors the Christmas Bird Count (CBC)–a long-standing program of the National Audubon Society. With over 100 years of citizen science involvement, the CBC is an early-winter bird census, where thousands of volunteers across the US, Canada and many countries in the Western Hemisphere, go out over a 24-hour period on one calendar day to count birds.

The CBC began on Christmas Day 1900, when ornithologist Frank M. Chapman proposed a new holiday tradition—a "Christmas Bird Census" that would count birds during the holidays rather than hunt them. Thanks to the inspiration of Chapman and the enthusiasm of 27 dedicated birders, 25 Christmas Bird Counts were held that day. The CBC is now conducted in over 2000 localities across Canada, the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the information gathered. The data collected by observers over the past century allow Audubon researchers, conservation biologists, wildlife agencies 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. The long-term perspective is vital for conservationists. It informs strategies to protect birds and their habitat, and helps identify environmental issues with implications for people as well.

This year Cortes Island CBC, co-sponsored by the Cortes Island Museum and Bird Studies Canada, is scheduled for Saturday, December 17, 2016. After a long absence from Cortes Island George Sirk will join Peter Elliott in leading this year’s Christmas Bird Count. Participants will meet either at the Museum in Manson’s or at 286 Seavista Rd. in Whaletown and will divide up into small groups to cover the island's best birding spots. All groups will have experienced birders willing to share their knowledge, so novices are welcome! A delicious hot catered lunch can be reserved. When registering, please note your choice of veggie or meat chili.

Bring binoculars, bird books & dress warmly.

Backyard birdfeeder observers are also needed.

All participants must pre-register – email or call the Museum at 250-935-6340 (Friday and Saturday, 12-4, or leave message with your phone number).

For more information on CBC check the Audubon site

More information about events organized by the Cortes Island Museum & Archives Society can by found our website