Guest Author - Malika Harricharan
It isn't too late to participate in your local Christmas Bird Count. The good news about this is that you don't have to be an expert birder or even really that experienced at all to participate in the Christmas Bird Count.
The Christmas Bird Count is just volunteers who are led by a more experienced birder. You can decide how you want to participate in the Christmas Bird Count. You can meet up with a local group and go with them. Or you can simply participate from you backyard by observing the birds that come to your feeders.
The annual tradition of the Christmas Bird Count has been going on for more than a century. Before 1900 hunters would hunt birds in large numbers for sport. Some environmentalists at the time were concerned about how this may affect the bird population so they decided to start their own tradition - counting birds.
The founder of this was Ornithologist Frank Chapman. He didn't call it the Christmas Bird Count but the Christmas Bird Census. The first bird count took place in 1900. Less than 30 people participate but even then they all knew it was the beginning of something important. Presently there are more than 50,000 participants in the Christmas Bird Count.
The count takes place from December 14 to January 5th. If you are interested in participating visit this site: http://www.audubon.org/bird/cbc/getinvolved.HTML.
Remember you can participate in the Christmas Bird Count even if you are not an avid bird watcher. You're contribution will be extremely helpful in the future welfare of birds by guiding bird conservation.
The information collected by Christmas Bird Counters has been tracked and analyzed all these years, and has proven itself an invaluable source for highlighting threats to the environment of our feathered friends. Not only that, but it has helped to identify which species are in decline and helps outline other trends in bird species.
Why not participate this year. It will be very rewarding to know that you have contributed to such an important cause.