This year is the 122nd for the Christmas Bird Count, sponsored by the National Audubon Society and the nation’s longest-running community science bird 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 in almost 2,500 count areas. Each area is a 15-mile diameter circle. Skagit Audubon’s role in this large effort is organizing the Padilla Bay Christmas Bird Count, named for the location of the count circle’s center on the March Point peninsula by Padilla Bay.
The 2021 Padilla Bay Christmas Bird Count has been changed because of the snow and will take place January 5th. The count usually happens the last Saturday of the year, but this year that day is Christmas. Flexibility for moving the date is limited because some of the same volunteers are needed for other counts in the area whose traditional dates are ones we need to avoid overlapping. For information about participating in this all-day, rain or shine, survey birders should contact Tim Manns (email@example.com or 360/333-8985). The count will be conducted following Covid-19 protocols, i.e., vaccinations required, sharing rides only with members of your own household, masks worn when sufficient distance isn’t possible. Photo credit: American Robin by Mary Sinker