2010 is off to a jump start at Frontera Audubon with the Christmas Bird Count happening here today, Jan. 3. Pat and Bob DeWenter and their able partners, Lee Ann Reiners and Charles Houpt, arrived at sunrise to begin their day in the Thicket. By 10:30a.m. they were on their way to check out the Valley Nature Center with a promise to return to Frontera later in the day for the afternoon birding activity.
For those who don’t know, Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count is the longest running citizen science project in the world, and tens of thousands of birders around the country join forces to monitor the various species of birds. When the bird count began 111 years ago it was intended to be a count of winter birds. Then, there were only 25 teams, and they identified 90 different species of birds. Last year, there were 2,124 counts worldwide with more than 660 species recorded.
Since now the National Audubon Society has over 100 years of data on birds through this count, they can study the health of species, habitat changes, and, migration routes. Last year, participants numbered over 60,000, and they counted nearly 70 million birds in all 50 states.
Frontera is at the tail end of the count this year; the official nationwide finish is Jan. 5 But it’s not too early to plan for next year’s count. If you are looking for a special “give back” project for your family during the holidays, why not contact Frontera Audubon or the Valley Nature Center to make a commitment for next December!