In 1900—as an alternative to the Christmas “side hunt” (a bird-killing competition)—ornithologist Frank Chapman proposed instead, a Christmas “bird count” and the idea took off. The Audubon Christmas Bird Count—a nation-wide bird census—takes place within a week or two of Christmas Day throughout North America and beyond. It is one of the oldest “citizen science” projects anywhere, and it’s a lot of fun. Teams of birders—novice and experienced—course through “count areas”, keeping track of bird species, and numbers seen. At the end of the day, the numbers are tallied at a “compilation dinner.”
This year, the Portland Christmas Count will take place on December 31st—New Year’s Eve! —and some First Church Birders propose to join up with the Lake Oswego counters.
The count will begin around 7am, with the Lake Oswego compilation taking place at 4pm; folks can also opt to be out for a half day. (Following the Lake Oswego compilation, there will be an overall Portland compilation…with pizza.)
Anyone interested in more details, or in participating in the count, please check in with Bob Wilson, at firstname.lastname@example.org.