Want to help track bird species and population in Prospect Park? Join Audubon’s annual Christmas Bird Count, the longest running citizen science survey in the world, which started on Tuesday, December 14 and runs through January 5.
Come to the park’s Audubon Center on Saturday, December 17 for two counting sessions, one at 12 p.m. and the other at 3 p.m.
The data collected by the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) helps scientists to better understand how endangered and well-populated birds are faring in North and South America and which species need urgent care.
Although there are counts in Prospect Park, the program involves tens of thousands of volunteers and takes place in all 50 states, all Canadian provinces, plus counts in Latin America, the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands.
“Everyone who takes part in the Christmas Bird Count plays a critical role in helping us focus attention and conservation where it is most needed,” said Audubon’s CBC Director, Geoff LeBaron. “In Addition to Audubon’s reports on the impacts of climate change on birds and our analysis of Common Birds in Decline, it is the foundation for Audubon’s WatchList, which most identified species in dire need of conservation help.”
Last year’s count was one for the record books. Over 60 million birds were counted in a total of 2,215 counts. About 62,624 volunteers participated all over North and South America, the Caribbean and Pacific. The first count in Les Cayes, Haiti, where John James Audubon was born, also took place.
The Audubon’s CBC data helps identify the birds which populations are dwindling and need the most help to conserve their species. But, the survey is also a way to track the past year’s success.
In the years past, the CBC helped document the increasing population of the Bald Eagle, which used to be endangered. Also it monitored significant increases in waterfowl populations, which was also a result of the program’s conservation efforts.
The CBC began in 1900, when Frank Chapman, the founder of Bird-Lore, which became Audubon Magazine, suggested that the annual hunting competition, called “side-hunt,” start being used as a time to only count birds, instead of shooting them.
On Saturday come to join in on the fun, discover beautiful birds and help to add a new layer to over a century of data.
Founded in 1909, the Brooklyn Bird Club is organizing the event.
“This is the 102nd year we have participated and we hope this event garners greater public interest in the CBC’s purpose and the conservation needs of birds not only in Brooklyn but nation wide,” said Peter Dorosh, president of the Brooklyn Bird Club.
If you’d like to monitor the progress of the CBC in New York State, visit the New York State Ornithological Association’s website.
The Audubon Center is in near Eastern Parkway and Flatbush Ave.