[Mnbird] Christmas Bird Counts

Steve Weston sweston2 at comcast.net
Thu Dec 11 10:26:28 CST 2014

You are invited to join the 115th Annual Christmas Bird Count.  Started as
an alternative to the annual christmas bird hunt where hunters would go out
and see how many birds they could kill, the Christmas Bird Count has
evolved into one of the top citizen science projects in the country and now
beyond, providing valuable information on changes in bird ranges and

New to birding?  Not very good at bird ID?  We need you!  On my first CBC,
I turned to my companion and told him that I was not very good on ID'ing.
He said, "No problem.  I can't hear most birds.  You find them and I'll ID
them."  We can send you out with an experienced birder on most counts.
And, the birding can be exciting.  Birds that I have personally found that
were not reported before at that location include Saw-whet Owl, Long-eared
Owl, Short-eared Owl, Hawk Owl, Screech Owl, Snowy Owl (in four counts, not
including last year), Harlequin Duck, Long-tailed Duck, Varied Thrush,
White-winged Crossbills (in Washington Co.), Gray Jay, Prairie Falcon,
Merlin, Spotted Towhee, Greater Black-backed Gull, Iceland Gull, Glaucous
Gull.  I remember one count where in the first hour we had found a
Gyrfalcon and an Iceland Gull.  I turned to the two high school students
who were on their first count and told them them that they had just seen
two birds that 90% of the serious US birders did not have on their life

The first counts are on this Sunday and the last counts are on Sunday,
January 1st.  There are about 75 counts across the state.  The newest count
(Kensington) is entering its first year.  The oldest counts have been going
for 70 years or more.  Over ninety percent of the counts can use more
counters.  With many of the outstate counts, your participation will
significantly change the results of the count.

To find a count to join, go to http://moumn.org/CBC/index.php .  If you
click on any count off of the map or calendar you will be able to find when
it is being conducted and who to contact for more information and to join.

Any questions, do hesitate to contact me.

Steve Weston
On Quigley Lake in Eagan, MN
sweston2 at comcast.net
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