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short-eared owl
Participating in Christmas Bird Counts in grassland areas provides birders an opportunity to see species that only spend winter here, such as this short-eared owl.
MDC

MDC encourages birders to help with Audubon Christmas Bird Count

Dec 02, 2019

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) encourages experienced birders to become citizen scientists by helping with the National Audubon Society’s 120th Annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5 – including about 20 counts in Missouri.

The CBC is an annual winter bird census where thousands of volunteers across the U.S., Canada, and many other countries in the Western Hemisphere count birds over a 24-hour period between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5. Christmas Bird Counts gather data on winter bird populations to track their long-term trends. Each CBC has a coordinator that assigns portions of a 15-mile diameter count circle to participants to count all birds seen and heard. Learn more at audubon.org/conservation/join-christmas-bird-count.

Missouri hosts about 20 CBCs, some of which are listed below. If interested in participating, contact the CBC organizer listed.

For a full list of CBCs, visit audubon.maps.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html?appid=fadfb421e95f4949bde20c29a38228bd.

MDC State Ornithologist Sarah Kendrick offers these CBC tips:

  • If you’ve never participated in a CBC, tell the organizer so they can place you with experienced birders.
  • Share your level of birding knowledge when you contact the CBC organizer so they can make sure you’re with a team with the experience to properly identify birds seen or heard.
  • Dress warmly. Most CBCs will be held regardless of weather unless inclement weather is dangerous.
  • Bring snacks and beverages to stay fueled for a long day.=

For more information on Missouri birds, visit MDC’s online Field Guide at nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/search.

 

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