Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Christmas Bird Count in Four Holes Swamp

On December 15th, Audubon South Carolina will be conducting the first ever Four Holes Swamp Christmas Bird Count. The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is a long-standing program of the National Audubon Society that began more than 100 years ago as method of monitoring winter bird populations throughout North America. Each year thousands of volunteers across the US, Canada and 19 countries in the Western Hemisphere participate in the CBC.

To conduct a count, CBC volunteers follow specified routes through a designated 15-mile (24-km) diameter circle, counting every bird they see or hear all day. It’s not just a species tally—all birds are counted all day, giving an indication of the total number of birds in the circle that day. All individual CBC’s are conducted in the period from December 14 to January 5 each season, and each count is conducted in one calendar day. You can find a description of last year's Charleston Christmas Bird Count here.

The Four Holes Swamp CBC will encompass most of the Francis Beidler Forest Audubon Sanctuary, Brosnan Forest, and neighboring lands (see the map). Anyone is welcome to participate in the count, since we will organize the groups so that inexperienced observers are always out with seasoned CBC veterans. We'll likely meet a the nature center at 7:30 am to begin and again at 5:00 pm to wrap up the day with some refreshments.

You will receive bonus points for spotting any of the birds shown in the print from John James Audubon's Birds of America. Check here before you alert the media.

If you are interested in participating in the count, please contact our Director of Bird Conservation, Jeff Mollenhauer at 843-462-2150.

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