This year’s annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) in Newton takes place on the Ides of December starting around 7 am. After all, the early birder gets the birds counted! This is the 120th year of the CBC and helps to measure changes in population of our avian species (and perhaps more global trends such as climate change). Perhaps you have heard that North America has lost more than 1 in 4 birds in the last 50 years. How do we know? Partially from the annual Christmas Bird Count!
In Newton, birders will meet at 7 am at 1 Raeburn Terrace in Newton Highlands (Raeburn is off Hillside which is off Walnut). Owlers (the real early birds) usually meet at the same location at 5 am. The group usually hits a few good spots and tries to call in the owls. At 7 am, groups will be formed to go off to various open spaces throughout the city to count all the birds that they see. The most common question of course is “how do you know you don’t count the same bird twice?” Well you can’t know for certain but we try our best! Beginners are welcome to accompany some of the more experienced birders (bring binoculars and dress warmly).
Most of the counting is done in the morning. You are welcome to join the counting even for a short time if you like. Tallies are made by afternoon and consolidated with tallies from other areas within a 15 mile Greater Boston count circle. Your questions about the count can probably be answered at https://www.audubon.org/conservation/join-christmas-bird- If you are interested in joining the count this year, please email Pete Gilmore(firstname.lastname@example.org).
In addition to the Newton event on December 15th, Audubon’s 120th Christmas Bird Count continues through January 5th. See the Audubon Website for details.