Christmas Bird Counts Off to a Great Start

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By Patrick Comins on December 17, 2012, 9:30am Last modified: December 19, 2012, 9:21am

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It’s time for America’s oldest birding tradition, the 113th annual Christmas Bird Count!  The first ever Christmas Bird Count (CBC) took place on Christmas Day in 1900 when Frank Chapman, an early leader of the National Audubon Society, wanted to offer an alternative to traditional Christmas bird hunts.  That year, 27 observers tallied 89 different species in 25 counts across the country, including two counts in Connecticut.   Last year 63,227 observers  participated in 2248 CBCs, including 410 in Canada, 1739 in the United States, and 99 in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Islands.     They found 2,298 species across all counts combined, including over 650 species in the US alone.

The 113th annual Christmas Bird Count began over the weekend with 11 counts held in Connecticut.  Additional counts are scheduled through early January.  Perhaps the best bird of the count so far is the above pictured Le Conte's Sparrow, found by Jamie Meyers and David Lawton in Bloomfield.  Only the second ever recorded on a CBC in Connecticut and only the 7th record in the state overall! (Thanks to Joseph Cala for the use of his photo! More of Joseph's great photos can be seen and purchased here: )   

To learn more about the Christmas Bird Count please visit:




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Patrick Comins

Town: Meriden, CT  

Reporting for WXedge since September 2012.

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