December marks the beginning of Christmas Bird Count season and even though we are already pressed for time it is tradition to try and do as many counts as possible.
So, we’re signed up for 3 counts including the second year of the Rock Cut Christmas Bird Count which we started last year and coordinate.
Being prepared for multiple CBCs is crucial especially in our climate where the weather can be just about anything and the bird habitat to cover is huge. We’ve come up with a few suggested items that can help enhance your counting experience. All of these can be found in our OpenSky store.
- Grabber Hand Warmers – these have been so appreciated when the temperature dips below freezing and the wind chill is unmentionable.
- Two-Way Radios – great for splitting groups up to cover large, heavily wooded areas or even to coordinate multiple vehicle movements
- Rite in the Rain Notebook – great for keeping field notes during a drizzle or blizzard (and keeping field notes is especially important on a bird count)
- Kaufman Field Guide to Birds – Kaufman’s guide is great for count day because it is small and light weight yet fully functional for bird identification.
- Delorme Topographic Atlas – we’ve mentioned this before but these large atlases make finding out-of-the-way roads and habitat nuggets a breeze
- Optics – don’t forget your bins at home and if you’ve got a spotting scope make sure it comes along!
- Digital camera – capturing a photo of that unusual bird is a sure way of getting it accepted on count day
- iPod with BirdJam software – being able to call in birds or match an unfamiliar sound is vital to a successful count
These are just some of the items you should consider when going out on a Christmas Bird Count. After the count, treat yourself to a much deserved glass (or bottle) of Burning Hawk Wine to complete the day.