It's time again for a busy slate of Christmas Bird Counts, held in Gallatin, Madison and Park counties. What a fun way to celebrate the holidays! Check out the schedule by clicking on the link below.
Some background on the Christmas Bird Count:
The first CBC was done on Christmas Day of 1900 as an alternative activity to an event called the “side hunt” where people chose sides, then went out and shot as many birds as they could. The group that came in with the largest number of dead birds won the event. Frank Chapman, a famed ornithologist at the American Museum of Natural History and the editor of Bird-Lore (which became the publication of the National Association of Audubon Societies when that organization formed in 1905) recognized that declining bird populations could not withstand wanton over-hunting, and proposed to count birds on Christmas Day rather than shoot them.
Audubon's Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is the longest running Citizen Science survey in the world. The CBC is an early-winter bird census, where volunteers count every bird they see or hear during one day in a designated 15-mile diameter circle. Count volunteers follow specified routes within the circle. 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. If observers live within a CBC circle, they may arrange in advance to count the birds at their feeders and submit those data to their compiler. All individual CBC’s are conducted in the period from December 14 to January 5 (inclusive dates) each season, and each count is conducted in one calendar day
These counts have proven incredibly valuable for what they tell scientists -- and all of us -- about our changing world.
Join us Monday, December 10th as Cindy Stillwell, Associate Professor in the MSU School of Film and Photography, will present her film Mating for Life. Part first person essay, part nature film, Mating for Life is an hour-long documentary that features the yearly migration of half a million sandhill cranes to the Platte River in central Nebraska. The film positions the journey of the cranes alongside the human search for meaning as we move into “the second half,” meditating on turning forty, the lessons learned and our human ability to mate for life.
The Sacajawea Audubon Society meets the second Monday of the month (September through May) at 7:00 p.m., at the Hope Lutheran Church, 2152 W. Graf Street (off of South 19th) in Bozeman. We invite the public to attend our meetings and participate in our field trips, listed here on the chapter's website.