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Contact: David Eaker, 435-772-7811
Contact: Clarie Crow, 435-772-0212
Zion National Park is looking for volunteer birders to participate in the annual Christmas Bird Count to be held on Saturday, December 19, 2009. The count is open to birders of all skill levels. This is Zion’s 38th year of participation in the bird count. To volunteer or to find out more information about the bird count, contact Claire Crow at 435-772-0212 or e-mail us.
The Zion National Park count takes place in a designated area 15 miles in diameter (about 177 square miles) where birders cover as much ground as possible within a 24-hour period. In the 2008 count, 5,474 individuals of 85 bird species were counted in Zion and vicinity. The data collected by each group is sent to the National Audubon Society headquarters in New York and is published in a special book-sized edition of American Birds magazine.
This year is the 110th annual National Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count. It is the longest running citizen science project in the world. Over 55,000 volunteers from all 50 states, every Canadian province, parts of Central and South America, Bermuda, the West Indies, the Pacific Islands and Antarctica will count and record every individual bird and bird species encountered during one calendar day between December 14 and January 5.
Apart from its attraction as a social, sporting and competitive event, the annual count reveals interesting and scientifically useful information on the early winter distribution patterns of various bird species and the over-all health of the environment. Articles in the Christmas Bird Count issues of American Birds helped ornithologists better understand the magnitude of the effects of the West Nile virus on regional populations. In June of 2007, Christmas Bird Count results were pivotal to the Common Birds in Decline Report. Count results from 1900 to the present are available through Audubon’s website www.audubon.org/bird/cbc.
For over a century, the Christmas Bird Count has provided invaluable insight into the status of bird populations. The count has proven to be a perfect example of the importance and value of volunteer-generated data.