Southwest Florida birders are joining tens of thousands of their colleagues across the nation by participating in the annual Christmas Bird Count.
The count is a long-standing program of the National Audubon Society. Volunteers follow specific routes through designated areas about 15-miles in diameter. They count every bird they see or hear for the entire day.
Data collected over the past century allows researchers and biologists to study long-term trends in bird populations across North America.
Wildlife biologist for the Ten-thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge - Terry Doyle – says in southwest Florida, the count reflects the rapidly changing landscape.
“For instance the Naples Christmas Bird Count has been going on for at least 30 years…and there’s been a lot of changes in that habitat within that count circle. If you just looked at that you’d see some dramatic changes over that 30 year period.”
The Bird Count took place on Christmas Day of 1900 as an alternative to a popular event called the “side hunt” – during which teams spent the day trying to shoot as many birds as possible.
Tuesday, 20 December 2005 00:00