MOUNTAIN AREA – Bird lovers, photographers and any interested parties are invited to join the National Audubon Society’s 114th Christmas Bird Count (CBC).
The CBC is an annual international bird census that began on Christmas Day in 1900. It now numbers more than 2,500 individual counts, and will be held throughout the area between Dec. 14, 2013, and Jan. 3, 2014. Participation is free, and everyone is encouraged to join, regardless of experience.
Last holiday season, folks came out in record numbers to count birds for the 113th Christmas Bird Count. More than 70,000 joined the count circles besting the previous year’s record of 63,227 counters across 2,248 circles, and it is the longest-running animal census on the planet.
The Yosemite Area Audubon Society encourages local residents to participate in any or all of the following area counts:
- Saturday, December 14 – Mariposa
- Sunday, December 15 – Yosemite
- Friday, December 20 – Oakhurst
- Friday, January 3 – Merced NWR
Each count is an all-day event, but participation for only part of the day can usually be arranged with the count compiler or party leader. Participants generally start at 7 – 7:30 a.m. and cover an assigned route or zone within the prescribed 15-mile-diameter count circle, counting all positively identified birds (both species and individuals) seen and/or heard.
Inexperienced birders are welcome and encouraged to participate; every field party will have at least one experienced birder who can make or help with identifications. Additional eyes and ears are helpful in finding birds, and novice birders will improve their identification skills.
Participation in the counts is free, but the National Audubon Society will accept voluntary donations to help defray the cost of publishing the CBC results.
Call (209) 966-2547 or (209) 742-5579 or visit www.yosemiteaudubon.org for more details and directions.