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Help Count Birds for Science during Audubon’s 119th Annual Christmas Bird Count

Join thousands of participants will be part of the world’s longest-running wildlife census, which contributes invaluable data to bird population research.

Calling all birders! The National Audubon Society invites birdwatchers to participate in the longestrunning community science survey, the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC). On Saturday, December 15, birders and nature enthusiasts will take part in this tradition, many rising before dawn to participate.

Every Christmas season Callaway Gardens participates in The National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count Program in partnership with FDR State Park. This year, the Audubon Christmas Bird Count will mobilize over 72,000 volunteer bird counters in more than 2,500 locations across the Western Hemisphere. The Audubon Christmas Bird Count utilizes the power of volunteers to track the health of bird populations at a scale that scientists could never accomplish alone. Data compiled at Callaway Gardens will record every individual bird and bird species seen in a specified area, contributing to a vast community science network that continues a tradition stretching back more than 100 years.

“The Christmas Bird Count is a tradition that everyone can participate in,” said Geoff LeBaron, Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count Director. “Adding observations to more than a century of data helps scientists and conservationists discover trends that make our work more impactful.

Participating in the Christmas Bird Count is a fun tradition for anyone and everyone.”

Birders of all ages are welcome to contribute to this fun, nationwide community science project, which provides ornithologists with a crucial snapshot of our native bird populations during the winter months. Each individual count is performed in a count circle with a diameter of 15 miles. At least ten volunteers, including a compiler to coordinate the process, count in each circle. The volunteers break up into small parties and follow assigned routes, which change little from year to year, counting every bird they see. In most count circles, some people also watch feeders instead of following routes.

Participants should have a good knowledge of birds, dress for the weather, in layers and wear hiking boots or sturdy walking shoes and bring binoculars, bird field guide, and a lunch and/or a snack. Or, for those living within the count area participants can count within the comfort of their own home.

To volunteer for this exciting event, or to learn more, email education@ callawaygardens. com or call Director of Gardens, Patricia Collins at 706-663-5155.

The Audubon Christmas Bird Count is a community science project organized by the National Audubon Society. There is no fee to participate and the quarterly report, American Birds, is available online. Counts are open to birders of all skill levels and Audubon’s free Bird Guide app makes it even easier to learn more. For more information and to find a count near you visit www.christmasbirdcount.org.

About Audubon The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon’s state programs, nature centers, chapters and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905, Audubon’s vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation organization. Learn more at www.audubon.org and @audubonsociety.