On Christmas Day in 1900, the National Audubon Society (NAS) held it’s first Christmas Bird Count (CBC). Now this annual international bird census numbers more than 1,500 individual counts, and everyone is invited to participate in the 113th CBC, between Dec. 14, 2012, and Jan. 5, 2013.
The Yosemite Area Audubon Society encourages local residents to participate in any or all of the following area counts:
-Friday, Dec. 14 – Groveland
-Saturday, Dec.15 – Mariposa
-Sunday, Dec. 16 – Yosemite
-Friday, Dec. 21 – Oakhurst
-Wednesday, Jan. 2 – Merced National Wildlife Refuge
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 usually start at about 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, as 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.
Participants at all levels of birding experience are needed and should bring binoculars, field guides, lunch, snacks and beverages. Dress warmly in layers, wear comfortable walking shoes or boots, and bring wet-weather gear.
This year the NAS is waiving the usual $5.00 participation fee but will accept voluntary donations to help defray the cost of publishing the CBC results.