The 121st Annual Christmas Bird Count

I didn’t know this was a ‘thing’. Have you done this?

BING HOMEPAGE: Today’s the first day of the 121st annual Christmas Bird Count, said to be the largest and longest-running citizen science project in the world. For the next 23 days, through January 5, thousands of volunteers around the US, Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Islands will join members of the National Audubon Society for this important endeavor in the study and protection of birds. Together, they’ll scour the woods, fields, and lakes of their respective regions (or just watch their bird feeders), to take a census of the individual birds and species they find.

Bird watchers in western Canada, Alaska, and the Northwest United States will undoubtedly find a few pine grosbeaks like the one featured in our image today.

The largest member of the true finch family, it makes its nest in northern boreal forests and feeds on berries and fruits. You might identify it from its short musical warble. While the pine grosbeak mostly stays in the northern latitudes, it’s an irruptive species, meaning it migrates some winters farther south to find food. Quite tame and unafraid of people, it can be easy to miss, because it’ll often sit stock-still as a bird watcher walks by. If you’re contributing to this year’s Christmas Bird Count—and even if you’re not—keep an eye out for this beauty.

Interested? Audubon.org has the details.

16 Comments on The 121st Annual Christmas Bird Count

  1. Well, there is one less mockingbird they can count. It sat on the balcony railing every morning at daylight squawking, waking me up. I tried for days to reasoning with it to no avail. So I shot it.

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  2. I know at least one super birder. Yeah.

    I’m fine with being outside, but I want to actually be DOING SOMETHING, not just standing there in the cold with a pair of binoculars glued to my face. 🙂

    1
  3. I woke early one morning,
    the earth lay cool and still
    when suddenly a tiny bird
    perched on my window sill.

    He sang a song so lovely
    so carefree and so gay,
    that slowly all my troubles
    began to slip away.

    He sang of far off places
    of laughter and of fun,
    It seemed his very trilling,
    brought up the morning sun.

    I stirred beneath the covers
    crept slowly out of bed,
    and swiftly shut the window
    and crushed his fucking head.

    5
  4. I’ve seen a lot more Northern Masked Digit Thrusters lately in my area. Thinks it’s got something to do with the Trump signs and stickers on my truck. I’m hoping they’ll migrate south.

    2
  5. I did this once in South Dakota. It was actually fun – but bone-aching cold – driving around outside of town spotting birds and identifying them. They try to count the actual numbers, unlike our elections where the counts are pre-programmed by Chinese software engineers.

    1
  6. I see birds all the time. Birds with bills, birds with beaks, birds with feathers, birds with wings, red birds, yellow birds, blue birds… big birds, small birds, birds that sound like rusty hinges, birds that look like a pile of sere leaves, birds who run, and birds what fly at 1000 feet.

    I’ve seen birds that don’t exist. (MO DNR says they don’t exist)

    I even saw the owl a few days ago. I heard him for years, but just saw him 2 days ago.

    Oh well.

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