This year is the 118th for the Christmas Bird Count, sponsored by the National Audubon Society and the nation’s longest-running citizen science project. Each year between December 14 and January 5, volunteers across the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Pacific Islands count bird species and individuals within almost 2,500 count areas. Each area is a 15-mile diameter circle. In western Skagit County the count circle centers on March Point by Padilla Bay; hence the name “Padilla Bay Christmas Bird Count” though it includes a much larger area than Padilla Bay. Skagit Audubon Society has organized this count for several decades, each year recruiting up to 20 teams to cover sub-areas of the circle. The National Audubon website has much information about the Christmas Bird Count and how the data gained is used (e.g., predicting climate change’s effects on birds): www.audubon.org/conservation/science/christmas-bird-count.
This year’s Padilla Bay Christmas Bird Count is December 30th. For information about participating, contact Tim Manns (firstname.lastname@example.org or 360.336.8753) by December 15.