The Christmas Bird Count began in 1900 when the founder of Bird-Lore (the progenitor of Audubon magazine), Frank Chapman, suggested an alternative to the “side hunt,” in which teams competed to see who could shoot the most game, including birds. Chapman proposed that people “hunt” birds only to identify, count, and record them. These “binocular brigades” often brave winter’s chill, ice and snow in order to record changes in resident populations and ranges. “When Frank Chapman started the Christmas Bird Census, it was a visionary act,” said Audubon President John Flicker. “No one could have predicted how important the CBC would become as a resource and tool for conservation.” CBC data also help document success stories. The Christmas Bird Count has helped document the comeback of the previously endangered bald eagle and significant increases in waterfowl populations, both the result of conservation efforts. “Each CBC volunteer observer is an important contributor, helping to shape the overall direction of bird conservation,” says Geoff LeBaron, Audubon's Christmas Bird Count Director.
|Fox Sparrow (c) Gary Tyson|
In Tioga County, the count is conducted in a 177-square-mile circle centered in Whitneyville and encompassing Wellsboro in the west, Mansfield in the east, Ives Run/Hammond Lake in the north, and to just above Arnot in the south.
If you would like to participate, please message us on Facebook or contact us at email@example.com. More eyes are always needed, and great birding skill is not a requirement. In fact, if you live within the count circle, you can just count the birds in your backyard or neighborhood. Please join us on January 1.