This past weekend I participated in the 119th annual Christmas Bird Count (though it was only my 10th). Up until 1900, hunters would go out and shoot as many birds as they could. The person with the largest pile would be declared the winner. Finally, an ornithologist named Frank Chapman decided to do a bird census on Christmas Day instead. It continues to this day and grows more each year. It is a great way to protect species and their habitats. Locally, our groups counted 59 species which was down from last year. Foul weather in November may have pushed some species out of the area. The weather was perfect! I’ve added a few images of some birds that couldn’t avoid be counted. I often get Sandhill Cranes late in December- this was a first for our count circle.
American Bald Eagle