Inaugural Northumberland-Lancaster Christmas Bird Count slated Dec. 20


The Inaugural Northumberland-Lancaster Christmas Bird Count will be held Tuesday, December 20, at various locations in Northumberland and Lancaster counties.

A dozen or more teams of birders will cover many areas of the two counties to identify birds and count their numbers. This premier birding and citizen science event is sponsored by the Northern Neck Audubon Society. The event is open to birders of all skill levels, reported publicity chairman Maggie Gerdts.

The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is a long-standing program of the National Audubon Society, with over 100 years of citizen science involvement. It is an early-winter bird census, where thousands of volunteers across the US, Canada and many countries in the Western Hemisphere, go out on one calendar day between December 14 and January 5 to count birds. They have a long standing tradition in the Commonwealth and this is a first for lower Northern Neck.

Each count takes place in an established 15-mile wide diameter circle and is organized by a count compiler. Count volunteers follow specified routes through a designated 15-mile diameter circle, counting every bird they see or hear all day. It’s not just a species tally-all birds are counted all day, giving an indication of the total number of birds in the circle that day.

There is a specific methodology to the CBC and all participants must make arrangements to participate in advance with the circle count compiler within an established circle, but anyone can participate.

Teams will cover areas from Burgess and Reedville in the North down to Irvington, Kilmarnock and Lively in the South and basically everything in between.

To participate contact Jeff Wright at 703-801-0239. He is the compiler for the Northumberland-Lancaster event and is responsible for assignments to the many teams.

Adding the lower Northern Neck and the Chesapeake Bay waters to this effort is important due to the geography of the Northern Neck, the diverse habitat and the large number of bird species that live in the Northern Neck or depend on the Northern Neck during migration.



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