Monday, December 07, 2009

Four Holes Swamp Christmas Bird Count

On December 14th, Audubon South Carolina will host the first official Four Holes Swamp Christmas Bird Count. Last year, we conducted a test run, which you can read about here.

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 United States, 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.

The Four Holes Swamp CBC will encompass most of the Audubon's Francis Beidler Forest, Brosnan Forest, and neighboring lands (see the map). Anyone is welcome to participate in the count as we will organize the groups so that inexperienced observers are always out with seasoned CBC veterans. Volunteers will meet at the nature center at 8:00 am to begin and return to the center at 5:00 pm to wrap up the day with some refreshments.

If you are interested in participating in the count, please contact our Director of Bird Conservation, Jeff Mollenhauer at 843-462-2150. There is a $5/person charge to cover costs associated with compilation and dissemination of the CBC results.

Hermit Thrush image by Mark Musselman

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