Each year we participate in multiple Christmas Bird Counts and the Spring Count but that is often not enough. So we’ve decided to start our own counts in the months where there are not official counts.
In May we did a 72-hour birding count where we spent 3 days trying to find as many species as we could in Winnebago County. Currently we are planning on doing bi-weekly counts of one of our favorite locations, Rock Cut State Park, from November through March.
These counts differ from Big Days or Big Sits because we are trying to inventory the birds and their locations and hopefully over a few years build up some data about our local bird populations.
So if you are looking for a little fun and a way to study bird populations, start your own count. Get as many people as you can involved and record the data. It might never be published in a scientific journal, but having an excellent understanding of your local birds will help when a new development is threatening to demolish the only forest in your area that has Cerulean Warblers or some other wonderful bird.