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Contact: John Dell'Osso, 415-464-5135
Every year for over a century, tens of thousands of volunteers take part in the National Audubon Society's Annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC), the longest-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations—and to help guide conservation action. This rigorous event often does not include young children, so in an effort to train future generations in this country-wide endeavor Point Reyes National Seashore Association (PRNSA) in collaboration with the National Park Service and Sonoma Birding, invite families with children ages 3–18 to join us at Point Reyes National Seashore for a half day event to learn some of the important basic elements of this grand old Audubon tradition.
The park offers a perfect outdoor classroom to host our event, which boasts some of the highest bird diversity and numbers of any National Park unit with sightings of nearly 490 species or approximately 54% of all North American species of birds. The event will be held at the Clem Miller Environmental Education Center, home to PRNSA’s Summer Science and Nature Camps for youth.
Youth, ages 3–6, can join our Budding Birders group, who will have a range of activities and a bird discovery walk, while Young Birders, ages 7–18, will participate in the official count. Each family will choose their birding instructor/location on a first-come, first-served basis. Each child will receive a bird booklet to help him or her get familiar with birds, and keep a record and tally of what he or she sees in the field. Participants will break into groups led by local birding experts and spend 2 hours in the field discovering and counting birds. Groups will return to the Clem Miller Environmental Education Center for the Tabulation Celebration to report their findings. Families are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch.
All children must be accompanied by an adult. Participants should wear comfortable hiking shoes, dress in layers, and bring a picnic lunch and binoculars (if possible). Loaner binoculars will be made available. This event is full.
The CBC4Kids was spearheaded in 2007 by Tom Rusert and Darren Peterie of Sonoma Birding, who have expanded this program into a North American event that includes events held in Canada. The CBC4Kids was first introduced to the National Park Service in 2011 right here at Point Reyes National Seashore. The event brings together all the elements to introduce the next generation of stewards to the importance of birds in the ecosystem, the tradition of annual bird counts and the fun of getting families outside to exercise and engage with the natural world. The event is supported by the National Park Service and PRNSA's missions, and supports national initiatives including Every Kid in a Park; Let's Move Outside; and Healthy Parks Healthy People: Bay Area.