Michigan DNR and Audubon Great Lakes working together for conservationBy HOLLY VAUGHN
Michigan Department of Natural Resources
This holiday season tens of thousands of Americans will fan out across the country with one goal in mind: finding and counting as many species of birds as they can find.
These observations will add to a large data set going back 117 years to Dec. 25, 1900, when the Christmas Bird Count, known then as the Christmas Bird Census, was first established.
The Christmas count remains one of the most important citizen science datasets today, helping scientists understand population declines and range shifts in North American birds.
“From beginning birdwatchers to experts, participants in Christmas counts gather to identify and census birds within 15-mile diameter count circles,” said John Pepin, DNR deputy public information officer. “The Christmas counts are a great opportunity to learn more about the winter birdlife of a particular area, and for beginners to gain experience birding alongside experts. Some participants count for an hour or so, some birdwatch for the whole day, some count at their bird feeders at home.” Read more