Christmas Day 1900, ornithologist Frank Chapman, of the Audubon Society, proposed a new holiday tradition: A "Christmas Bird Census" that would count birds in the holidays rather than hunt them. Most of the counts were in the eastern part of the US & Canada, though there was one each in California, Colorado & Missouri. Twenty seven people participated finding a total of 89 species.
We have come along way in 111 years! Today, there are tens of thousands volunteering for the count and over 57 million birds sited in the US alone ( 646 species). For the past 9 years, I have taken my 4-H birding club to scour the island for water birds, small brown birds hiding in the thickets, raptors high above us, and everything in between. Our goal is to find at least 60 species, which usually puts us in the top 10 count for the State of Washington. In February, we will follow up this count with the "Backyard Bird Count" and in May with the "Migration Count". Bird watching, at least in the NW, is now the # one family "sport".
|Snowcap -- one of the world's |
|My friend, the Toucan|