If you’ve never participated in a Christmas Bird Count (CBC) make this be your first year! CBCs are held all over the country and internationally too. A count coordinator will assign you a circle and you count birds around the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. It’s never to early to plan for a CBC, especially if you plan on doing multiple ones (like we are).
This year will be the 108th year of CBCs. Over the years the data from CBCs has been analyzed and used to help determine bird populations. The data is not perfect but the more counters, the more area is covered to get a good census on birds across the nation.
In the Midwest the weather is about as unpredictable as the number of birds found. A couple years ago we found ourselves in deep snow and below zero temperatures. Last year we birded in cloudy, 40-degree weather for one of our counts. For us, it is a fun challenge to face the elements and force ourselves to bird for many hours at a time. And that possible surprise find is always worth cold fingers.