Outreach Coordinator, MassWildlife
From December 14, 2009 through January 5, 2010, bird lovers in Massachusetts can participate in the nation’s longest running wildlife survey, the Christmas Bird Count. Each year families, friends, birders, and scientists – armed with binoculars and bird guides – go outdoors to count the number of species and the number of individual birds they see in a day. The data collected by bird observers over the past century allow researchers, conservation biologists, and other interested individuals to study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America.
While there are specific procedures to follow, the Christmas Bird Count is open to everyone. In Massachusetts, there are 33 geographic count circles where the bird counts occur. Each count circle is coordinated by an experienced count compiler. Beginning birders can join a group that includes at least one or two experienced birdwatchers in charge of covering a portion of the circle. If your home is within the boundaries of a count circle, you can report the birds visiting your feeder. If you have never been on a Christmas Bird Count before, locate and contact the local count compiler to find out how you can participate.
I've taken part in some Christmas Bird Counts in past years and as a member of the Forbush Bird Club, I'm hoping to be assigned to the Wachusett Reservoir with other birders for a portion of the Worcester circle in mid-December. There's an excellent chance we'll see an eagle and some of the diving ducks that are making their winter appearance in the area.
Visit the MassBird website for information about local count compilers and birding clubs in your area. Click here for a very useful list of Frequently Asked Questions with more details and national count results on National Audubon’s web page.
A black-capped chickadee is pictured above.
2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: March posted on Apr 23
Girard’s Sugarhouse in Simsbury, CT. The sugarhouse was built in 1887 and produces around 250-300 gallons of syrup annually. Photo by Michael Girard March’s contest winner was Michael Girard who photographed his family’s sugarhouse in Health. Michael Girard has been a sugarmaker since 1961 when he …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: March
2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: February posted on Feb 25
February’s contest winner was Amanda Bettle, who photographed sheep at The Natural Resources Trust of Easton. This photo features Dog, a former 4-H show animal and sole male sheep among the nine ewes in the Natural Resources Trust of Easton (NRT) flock. It is the mission …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: February
2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: January posted on Jan 26
January’s contest winner was Renee Finnegan, who photographed a pensive Highland cow at Oak Meadows Farm & Garden in Rutland. Glenn and Mary Kauppila have been farming 100 acres of land in Rutland for approximately 15 years. With the help of their three adult children, they …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: January