Christmas Bird Count & Birds and Beers

The next Birds and Beers is December 17, 2009 at 6:00 pm at Merlin’s Rest.

Birds and Beers is an informal gathering of birders of all abilities–if you’re interested in birds, you’re invited. You can meet other birders–maybe find a carpool buddy, ask about where to find target birds, share cool research projects you might be working on, ask a bird feeding question, share life lists, share some digiscoping tips, promote your blog–the sky is the limit. It’s low key and it’s fun. I'll have to head out early that night. We added a performance to our A Christmas Carol: The Golden Girls Remix and I'll have a show at 9:30pm that night.

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I imagine that we will be talking quite a bit about Christmas Bird Counts. And, hey, if anyone in the Twin Cities would like to try out a Christmas Bird Count, I'm looking for volunteers. We'll count any bird we see like the cardinal above to house sparrows to eagles to ducks to hopefully something really cool like maybe a Thayer's gull.

The Christmas Bird Count started in reaction to the 19th century tradition of people going out to shoot as many birds as they could on Christmas Day. In 1900 a group went out and counted birds rather than shoot at them and the tradition as grown to the big December event now. The data collected is used to document winter bird population trends in North America.

I've always wanted to participate, but for many years I worked retail and getting time off on a weekend in December is next to impossible. This year, I'm helping out with St Paul Audubon and their Christmas Bird Count area, specifically the Lilydale Area on December 19, 2009. I'm looking for people to help with the count!

Lilydale Map.jpg

This is my count area. If you live in this area, have some feeders (or not) and want to track what birds you see and turn those in, that would be great! If you want to bird Lilydale Park, we should have a great time. If you're thinking, I don't want to watch birds outside of the warmth of my vehicle and want to cruise some neighborhoods for birds, I can use you. Let me know in either the comments or drop me an email: sharon at birdchick dot com.

If you don't live near the Twin Cities but want to participate, find out what Christmas Bird Counts are in your area and see if you can help them.