Please join us December 14, 2018 - January 5, 2019 for the 120th annual Christmas Bird Count!
To sharpen your community science skills, attend a Christmas Bird Count Training on Saturday, December 7, 8–11 a.m. at the Rio Salado Audubon Center! The training is sponsored by Arizona Field Ornithologists and taught by Troy Corman. Click here to sign up. (Are you in Southern Arizona? There will also be a training in Tumacacori! Learn more here.)
Prior to the turn of the 20th century, people engaged in a holiday tradition known as the Christmas "Side Hunt": They would choose sides and go afield with their guns; whoever brought in the biggest pile of feathered (and furred) quarry won.
Conservation was in its beginning stages around in that era, and many observers and scientists were becoming concerned about declining bird populations. Beginning on Christmas Day 1900, ornithologist Frank M. Chapman, an early officer in the then nascent Audubon Society, proposed a new holiday tradition-a "Christmas Bird Census"-that would count birds during the holidays rather than hunt them.
So began the Christmas Bird Count. Thanks to the inspiration of Chapman and the enthusiasm of twenty-seven dedicated birders, twenty-five Christmas Bird Counts were held that day. The locations ranged from Toronto, Ontario to Pacific Grove, California with most counts in or near the population centers of northeastern North America.
Want to sign up for a Christmas Bird Count in Arizona? Check out the schedule and contact a compiler near you!