Northeast Kingdom Audubon, a Chapter of the National Audubon Society, invites birdwatchers to participate in the longest-running citizen science survey, the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC). On January 1, 2017, birders and nature enthusiasts will fan out across parts of Barnet, Peacham, Danville, St. Johnsbury, Waterford, Monroe, and Lyman to count the birds they see, many rising before dawn to participate. The center of the local count circle is at the north end of the Comerford Dam, so it is known as the Barnet CBC.
“Typically, on count day, our volunteers record about 40 species of birds within the Barnet CBC Circle,” reports local compiler Charlie Browne, “but last year we saw 4421 birds of 46 species, from 20 Common Golden Eye ducks to 13 Bald Eagles and over 700 Black-capped Chickadees. For this year’s count, we’ll need volunteers covering the region’s woods, fields, waterways, and backyards to get comparable results. After a day in the field or watching the feeders, we wrap up the day with a compilation gathering to share our results.”
Birders of all ages are welcome to contribute to this fun, nationwide citizen science project, which provides ornithologists with a crucial snapshot of our native bird populations during the winter months. Each individual count is performed in a count circle with a diameter of 15 miles. At least ten volunteers, including a compiler to coordinate the process, count in each circle. The volunteers break up into small parties and follow assigned routes, which change little from year to year, counting every bird they see. In most count circles, some people also watch feeders instead of following routes.
This long-running citizen science project is open to birders of all skill levels, and it’s easy to participate! To volunteer for the Barnet Christmas Bird Count (on New Year’s Day), please contact Charlie Browne at 802-592-3545 or email@example.com.