2020 Spring Bird Count
The count will be held April 25, 2020. Further information will follow when available.
2020 Winter Bird Count in Newport News Park
The count will be held January 25, 2020. Further information will follow when available.
2019 Winter Bird Count
December 14, 2019
Leader: Bill Boeh
The Hampton Roads Bird Club’s (HRBC) Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC) takes place just two months from now, on Saturday, December 14, 2019. By supporting this effort you’ll be participating in the nation's longest-running citizen science bird project; the first count was conducted in 1900. HRBC first participated in the CBC in 1952, the year after the Club’s inception. 2019 marks the 120th CBC and the 68th year that HRBC has participated. Our club has observed and recorded over 1,511,800 birds since 1952!
Why is this important? Birds are not doing well. You are probably aware of the reports that came out recently regarding staggering losses in North American bird populations since 1970. The following are excerpts from obtained from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website pages:
Nearly 3 billion birds gone since 1970: The first-ever comprehensive assessment of net population changes in the U.S. and Canada reveals across-the-board declines that scientists call “staggering.” All told, the North American bird population is down by 2.9 billion breeding adults, with devastating losses among birds in every biome. Forests alone have lost 1 billion birds. Grassland bird populations collectively have declined by 53%, or another 720 million birds.
How to help: To understand how birds are faring, scientists need hundreds of thousands of people to report what they’re seeing in backyards, neighborhoods, and wild places around the world. Without this information, scientists will not have enough timely data to show where and when birds are declining around the world. Enjoy birds while helping science and conservation: Join a project such as the Christmas Bird Count.
So here’s your opportunity to help! Participation entails counting birds in one (or more) of 13 sectors in our Newport News Circle. Typically counts are conducted throughout the daylight hours (but that’s ultimately up to each sector leader). But don’t worry if you can’t participate for the full day; go ahead and volunteer even if you can participate for only a few hours.
If you can’t join the field effort, you can still contribute by conducting a “feeder count”—you simply record the birds you observe in your yard on the count date. We had very few participate this way last year—would like to do much better in that department this year!
So, please sign up at the October or November Club meeting, or contact me (call or text 757-951-7959 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org). It’s great fun and a great way to help conserve the birds!
For more about the CBC visit the Audubon webpage: http://www.audubon.org/conservation/join-christmas-bird-count
Results of 2019 HRBC Spring Bird Count - Click Here
Saturday, April 27, 2019
By Bill Boeh
The HRBC has been conducting the SBC since 1995. Please join us in being part of this citizen science effort to support bird conservation. It’s great fun and a great way to help conserve the birds--and for new members, a great way to be introduced to some of the best birding sites in our region.
The typical sector count spans most of the day, but some counts only go for a few hours. Don’t hesitate to participate because you don’t feel you’re proficient enough at identifying birds-sector counts are led by our more experienced birders. You can contribute by adding more eyes and ears to help detect the birds for identification (and counting). It’s a lot of fun and you’ll be building your identification skills as well.
If you can't participate in a field count, feeder-watching is another way you can support this effort. Please let me know if you are interested!
For Hampton Hampton Roads Bird Club members, signup sheets and the sector map will be available at the March 14 meeting.
2019 Winter Bird Count in Newport News Park
Saturday, January 26, 2019 7:00-10:00 AM,
By Jane Frigo
If there is interest, the club will again sponsor a Winter Bird Count at Newport News Park on Saturday, January 26, 2019, from 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM. Seeing how easy ebird is, I would like to have 5 groups submit their data by ebird. Contact me (757-873-0721 or email@example.com) if you are interested in participating and if you are interested in being responsible for one of the 5 sectors. Details can be discussed during the January 10 meeting at Sandy Bottom.
The support of scientific birding is a central thrust of HRBC. In December and in May, we lead counts for each species over the entire lower Peninsula in some 13 designated, but still fairly large, sectors. Our two-Sunday-a-month bird walks over a portion of NN Park provide other useful records, but they are different: The Sunday walks simply list the species seen or heard and not the numbers of each. The fairly new 5-sector Winter Count cuts the HRBC “home base”, NN Park, into finer pieces and it numbers the birds. Objective analysis by way of such slicing and dicing can show the way to more effective sampling and better science.
Results of 2018 Audubon Christmas Bird Count - Click Here
Photography by Dianne Snyder
The efforts of 48 observers (the vast majority of which were HRBC members) resulted in the observation of 18,568 birds comprised of 123 species.