Future Bird Counts
2023 Christmas Bird Count
December 16. 2023
For those who are not familiar, per Audubon’s CBC “top questions” website, the CBC “is a long-standing program of the National Audubon Society, with over 100 years of citizen science involvement. It is an early-winter bird census, where thousands of volunteers across the U.S., Canada, and many countries in the Western Hemisphere go out over a 24-hour period on one calendar day to count birds."
As it has since 1952, the Hampton Roads Bird Club will be sponsoring the 2023 CBC. The date of the count this year is Saturday, Dec 16, 2023. The count will take place in the lower peninsula, within the Newport News count “circle” (depicted below). The circle is divided into 13 sectors, each headed by a sector leader who coordinates the count in their sector.
There are two ways you can participate—by observing in the field or by feeder-watching. Field observers count birds in the field as part of a sector team (this can include “owling” as well as observing during daytime hours). Feeder watchers record observations at a feeder and its immediate vicinity (e.g., entire backyard).
By participating, you can act as a “citizen-scientist” by collecting data that is vital for bird conservation. According to the Audubon CBC website, the data collected by observers over the past century has allowed Audubon researchers, conservation biologists, wildlife agencies and other interested individuals to study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America. When combined with other surveys, such as the Virginia Breeding Bird Survey, it provides a picture of how the continent's bird populations have changed in time and space over the past hundred years. This long term perspective is vital for conservationists. It informs strategies to protect birds and their habitat, and helps identify environmental issues with implications for people as well.
Why is this important? Birds are not doing well. According to Cornell’s All About Birds website, wild bird populations in the continental U.S. and Canada have dropped by almost 30% between 1970 and 2020 — a 2.9 billion decline in bird populations in the continental U.S. and Canada. And as of December, 2022, Cornell reports these declines are continuing.
Please be part of this great tradition and support this important citizen science effort in bird conservation. It’s great fun and a great way to help bird conservation efforts--and for those new to Hampton Roads, a great way to be introduced to some of the best birding sites in our region.
So, please reply to this email* and volunteer to participate, either in the field or by feeder-watching, in this important citizen science effort!
*Please note that this is a different email account than the one I’ve used in the past!
Newport News Circle Christmas Bird Count Compiler
Previous Bird Counts
Fall Big Day of Birding
HRBC 2023 Spring Bird Count
2022 Winter Sector Bird Count in Newport News Park
2022 Christmas Bird Count
HRBC 2022 Spring Bird Count
2021 Audubon Christmas Bird Count
2021 Spring Big Day for Virginia Results
I believe I have all the checklists for those that participated in the May 15th Spring Big Day of birding. It was a gorgeous day for being out birding. We had 11 participants, and our total species count was 132. No surprise, the most common birds found were Northern Mockingbird and Northern Cardinal...found by virtually everyone. However, 40 species were found by only one person/team, and these species represented the full range of nocturnal birds, shorebirds, gulls, and passerines.
Hope all participants had fun, and look forward to our next birding adventure.
2021 HRBC Spring Bird Count Results - Click Here
2021 Winter Bird Count in Newport News Park Results - Click Here
2020 Audubon Christmas Bird Count
Fall 2020 "Virtual" Virginia Big Day Results
Leader: Dave Youker
The results are in for our first, virtual Big Day held on 7 Nov. If you haven't submitted your list, you can still forward it to me. I was impressed with the number of checklists, the diversity of species, and the resolve of some members to put in some long days birding. Birds from backyards to seagoing to every habitat in between were identified. Here are the results:
The weather for the Big Day was very pleasant, except many members had to contend with a heavy fog. Still, we had an impressive total of 36 club members participate! A total of 24 checklists were submitted, and the consolidated species list stands at 136! If anyone is interested in the overall list, I'd be happy to forward it.
Thanks to all the members that participated in this club activity. The feedback has been very positive, so maybe we can do it again next year.
Results of 2019 Audubon Christmas Bird Count - Click Here
Results of 2019 HRBC Spring Bird Count - Click Here
Results of 2018 Audubon Christmas Bird Count - Click Here
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.