The annual bird count will take place until January 5th

(Mirror Daily, United States) – The annual Christmas Bird Count will start on December 14th this year, when it’s in the hopes of organizers, Audubon, that thousands will once again participate. Across numerous regions in the United States, Canada, and the Western Hemisphere, volunteers may opt to take part in this citizen-driven science database.

The Christmas Bird Count first started 115 years ago, organized by an ornithologist by the name of Frank Chapman. Participants were asked to count, identify, and record the most bird species within their area. Slowly, scientists began to offer more attention to conservation efforts directed toward the bird population. The annual event became an excellent source for numerous scientific publications.

And, thus, by the time of this year’s 116th edition of the Christmas Bird Count (CBC), it has become the oldest and longest running citizen-driven science program in the world. It’s now a marker of collective efforts dedicated to the tally and conservation of bird species. The program is entirely funded through donations, and relies on the efforts of volunteers willing to help.

Last year, for the 115th edition of the annual CBC, over 72,600 volunteers took part in over 2,200 counts. They counted a total of a whopping 68.7 million birds. A majority of the counts took place in the United States, with a number of 1,888 of the total, followed by Canada with 460. However, Ecuador found the most species, a total of 529 during the length of the program.

This year, the CBC will begin on December 14th and last until January 5th, where anyone can volunteer for the local counts. Whether keeping track of the species surrounding your bird feeder or venturing out with an organized group, all can partake. However, participants need to make arrangements ahead of time if they wish to venture out throughout the area with others. Each separate count will be of 15 miles in diameter, where volunteers will walk through, watch, record, and categorize each bird found.

The program is dedicated toward both expert birdwatchers and amateurs. It doesn’t matter that you don’t really know anything about birds. As long as you can spot one, you’re in. There will be a designated expert in each group that will help with cataloguing the species. Anyone can be of help, even if they’re driving, writing down on the list, or just keeping their eyes around.

It’s an over a century old study, and volunteers are welcome to become a part of it. Anyone interested can head over to the Audubon’s official website to check for dates or more information on this remarkable effort.

Image source: hdwallpaperscool.com