Come join the fun in one of our area’s Christmas Bird Counts. The Christmas counts, started in 1900, are an opportunity for beginning and expert birders to get together and enjoy this holiday tradition.
Bozeman Saturday, December 14th
Compiler: John Parker 586-5863
Meet at Perkins Restaurant, 2505 West Main,
Bozeman, between 7:00-7:30AM
West Yellowstone Sunday, December 15th
Compiler: John Heinie (w) 646-7001 (h) (406)640-0124
Meet at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center
West Yellowstone at 8:30 AM
Livingston Sunday, December 15th
Compiler: Sally MacDonald 223-9167
or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet at the Best Western Inn 1515 W Park St (Copper John’s)
between 7:00-7:30 a.m.
Ennis Wednesday, December 18th
Compiler: Robin Wolcott 406-581-5418
Meet at Yesterday’s Café in the Ennis Pharmacy,
By 7:30 AM or sooner for breakfast
Three Forks Thursday, December 26th
Compiler: Dennis Flath 406-539-1145
Meet at Bair’s Truck Stop (Flying J at the
South side of the Belgrade Interchange)
at 7:00 AM
For more information, contact the count compilers. Please Contact the area compiler before the count, as this will give them the opportunity to plan and organize the count before the count day. Participation in all counts is free.
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.