• Winter in the Wrangells

    Wrangell - St Elias

    National Park & Preserve Alaska

Christmas Bird Count

Birdwatching over the River

From December 14 through January 5 each year, tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas take part in an adventure that has become a family tradition among generations. Families and students, birders and scientists, armed with binoculars, bird guides and checklists go out on an annual mission: the Christmas Bird Count. This is the longest running Citizen Science survey in the world. The Christmas Bird Count provides critical data on population trends.

On Thursday, December 29th 2011 Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve celebrated its 1st Annual Christmas Bird Count. Beginning at 10 a.m. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve joined tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the country by taking part in Audubon's 112th Annual Christmas Bird Count. Bird lovers from the local communities arrived at the park's visitor center to get outside, enjoy the winter's beauty and track and count as many birds as they can. Armed with binoculars, bird guides, checklists and an assigned count area they enjoyed a beautiful yet very cold December day. Thanks to everyone's participation it was a great success and a lot of fun. 14 observers spent 21.5 hours and covered 68 miles and saw 9 bird species totaling 325 birds throughout the day. The species that were observed were:

115 Pine Grosbeaks
64 Common Redpolls
39 Common Ravens
32 Black-Capped Chickadees
26 Black-billed Magpies
25 Boreal Chickadees
21 Gray Jays
2 White-Winged Crossbill
1 Hairy Woodpecker
2 Unidentified

There were two feeder observers who spent additional hours watching their feeders. Four species were seen during the count week that were not observed on count day. They included the Hoary Redpoll, White-Crowned Sparrow, Red-Breasted Nuthatch and Downy Woodpecker.

We are looking forward to next year's bird count with even more participants and hopefully a little bit warmer weather. Find out more information about the Christmas Bird Count at the National Audubon Society.

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