It’s almost time to watch the birdies. Annual national bird count starts Dec. 14 in many locations including Kissimmee
All across the USA, volunteers are signing up for the 114th Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count.
Since the Christmas Bird count began more then a century ago, it has relied on the dedication and commitment of volunteers, including volunteers in Osceola County who sign up for bird counts all around Central Florida including Kissimmee Valley.
To sign up, go to www.audobon.org. All the information you need to know about registering and the bird count is at the website.
The site shows locations nationwide for the Christmas Bird County. You can sign up at an online circle, near you. It is free to participate.
When does the count happen?
All Christmas Bird Counts are conducted between Dec. 14 to Jan. 5 each season. Your local count will occur on one day between those dates. You can participate in as many counts as you wish.
How does participation work?
There is a specific methodology to the CBC, and you must make arrangements to participate in advance with the circle compiler, but anyone can participate.
Each count takes place in an established 15-mile wide diameter circle, and is organized by a count compiler.
If you are a beginning birder, you will be able to join a group that includes at least one experienced birdwatcher.
If your home is within the boundaries of a CBC circle, then you can stay at home and report the birds that visit your feeder on count day. .as long as you have made prior arrangement with the count compiler. Check out the sign-up link on how to contact the compiler.
The website has a section of frequently asked questions for the novice as well.
Since it is free, how is this program funded?
The Christmas Bird Count now relies 100 percent on donations to provide support to compilers and volunteers on count day, to manage the historic database, and to fund the technology to make historic data available to researchers. Until recently there was a $5 participation fee which annually funded this hemisphere-wide program.
The data collected by CBC participants over the past century and more have become one of only two large pools of information informing ornithologists and conservation biologists how the birds of the Americas are faring over time.
In 2012 the CBC participation free to make it accessible to anyone so donatons are now more important than ever. Donations also can be made at www.audobon.org.