December 15, 2013
24-hour period on 12/15
Cape May, NJ
From casual enthusiasts to serious ornithologists, birders of every description will be participating in The Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) in Cape May, held this year on December 15. A prominent destination for the birders will be The Conservancy’s South Cape May Meadows preserve, which even in chilly weather attracts all sorts of fascinating avian species, including rarities like, razorbills, king eiders and snow buntings along with a variety of warblers and waterfowl.
The Cape May CBC is centered in Rio Grande and extends for a radius of 10 miles in every direction. The circle is broken into eleven sectors, each with a leader and participant group. Birders keep track of hours in the field, miles driven by car, ridden by bicycle and walked on foot, and most importantly, birds counted by species and number during a 24-hour period.
The results of the CBC provide an excellent, citizen science-driven census of the birds that winter in Cape May, including late-fall migrants, lingering “half-hardy” species and raptors, including owls. Subsequent analysis of the findings from the CBC can help determine long-term population trends.
The CBC has been around for more than 100 years, with tens of thousands of volunteers participating at sites all over the U.S. every year.
For more information about the Cape May CBC, visit http://birds.audubon.org/christmas-bird-count.