|Marco Foronda |||Dec 11, 2014 12:52 AM EST|
(Photo : REUTERS/CHRISTA CAMERON) A bird watcher volunteer scans the skies for birds during a past Christmas Bird Count in Texas
This year marks the 115th annual National Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count and bird counting will start next week.
This is the longest-running citizen science survey in the world, according the National Audubon Society. The annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) runs from December 14, 2014 through January 5, 2015.
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CBC founder Dr. Frank Chapman was the former curator of the American Museum of Natural History. He was the first to recruit people who were home on Christmas to assist in conducting a yearly bird census.
There were 27 volunteers during the first CBC and they were all friends of Chapman's. Over the years, the number expanded to 66,000 volunteers of all ages and races, with varying levels of expertise.
Today, there are 2,200 locations across the United States, Canada, the Pacific Islands, the West Indies and even parts of South America where the Christmas Bird Count takes place.
"The Audubon Christmas Bird Count harnesses volunteer power to gather knowledge that shapes conservation policy at enormous scales in this country. I couldn't be prouder of the 60,000-plus volunteers who contribute each year," said Audubon President and CEO David Yarnold.
New CBC participants normally observe and assist experienced bird watchers. The bird count can also be reported from the volunteer's home.
Bird watchers simply count the number of birds that visit the volunteer's birdfeeder in between the specified count days.
CBC data will help ornithologists and conservation biologists to understand the different conditions of various bird species across the continent.
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