Christmas bird counting time – time to dust off those binoculars!

Junco Mickey Dumont/Citizen photo

Started in 1900, the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is North America’s longest-running Citizen Science project. Counts happen in over 2,000 localities throughout the western hemisphere.

The information collected by thousands of volunteer participants forms one of the world’s largest sets of wildlife survey data. The results are used daily by conservation biologists and naturalists to assess the winter population trends and distribution of birds.

Each CBC is conducted on a single day between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5. Counts are carried out within a 24 km diameter circle that stays the same from year-to-year. They are organized, usually as group efforts, at the local level, often by a birding club or naturalist organization. Participants should be prepared to commit part or all of the day as either a field observer or a feeder watcher somewhere within the count circle.

Two local and separate CBC’s will be taking place in the Portage la Prairie region within the next few weeks. The Portage la Prairie count is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 15 while the long-standing Delta Marsh/Portage Plains count will take place on Dec. 27.

For more information on either or both of these Christmas Bird Counts contact Cal Cuthbert at merlineco2016@gmail.com , home 204-872-3867 or cell 204-872-0793.

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