Conservation Connection: Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. _Bird watchers can offer a truly meaningful holiday gift to science each year with the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count! It`s been a tradition for over a century.

Natural History Biologist Andrea Schuhmann tells us more.

There were holiday traditions before the turn of the 20th century where competitions were held to shoot as many birds as possible prior to federal regulations and protections. Some scientists were noticing a decline in bird populations at this time.

An ornithologist named Frank Chapman and the Audubon Society came up with an activity that citizens could participate in that didn`t negatively affect bird populations. He held the first Christmas Bird Count on December 25, 1900.

It's the longest running citizen science effort in the nation.

Today, tens of thousands participate each year between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5

Bird enthusiasts all over the country get together and disperse at designated areas. They survey 'count circles' and record all the numbers and species of all the birds they see (or hear.)

The data is collected and contributed to the Audubon National Database with other nationwide data, helps give a snapshot of bird populations across North America population trends, movements, species, etc.

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