People often ask me how many birds we have. At one time, we had about 100 birds, give or take. Between breeding, losing, taking in new birds, and selling, the number is never static. We have been making an effort to downsize, so the number is at 70 or so.
It is easier to count my flock than a bunch of wild birds. But there is valuable information to be gathered from counting wild birds. Here’s a really good explanation on Bird Counting 101: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/news/counting-101/
Bird counting is referred to as citizen science. Lots of people are needed to spot trends, either up or down. One of the oldest running bird counts happens every year during the winter holidays. I love that, because it brings meaning to a season that for some is full of unhappy memories and loneliness. Get out and meet your fellow birders, and do something positive! And, this is a count that evolved from a senseless slaughtering yearly hunt. Good work, Frank Chapman! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_Bird_Count
Audubon participates, of course, and has more information on how to get started. http://www.alleghenyfront.org/story/audubon-christmas-bird-count-tradition-continues I know Christmas is still six months or so away, but why not mark your calendar now?
So here are links to summaries of past counts, and fun stuff from Audubon. http://birds.audubon.org/summaries-christmas-bird-count-years-98-101-and-years-1-23-30-34-38
And some videos to enjoy about bird counts. It’s hot and muggy where I am, so this is rather enjoyable.
Are you hooked? The next step is to get all the equipment you need, and here’s why each item is important:
And some web pages that will give you the same information.
I found a FAQ on birding! http://www.birdwatching.com/birdingfaq.html
While you can go birding in your back yard, even your parking lot if you live in an apartment, you will probably enjoy it more in a place that is beautiful. So here is a list of the best places to go birding.
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/favoriteplaces I am a little insulted that nothing in the San Diego area made the list for these folks! I’ll fix that. http://www.sandiegoaudubon.org/birding/local-birding-sites
While I will always love having birds who share my living space with me, I love birds in the wild as well. Conservation benefits all who live on this planet, sometimes by providing a relaxing way to spend a day and connect with others. I’ll be back on Wednesday with something fun.