I am currently planning out the details for one of my favorite events at Woodland Dunes….the Christmas Bird Count for Kids (CBC for Kids)!
The Christmas Bird Count was started in 1900, as an alternative to popular holiday “side hunts.” These hunts involved shooting as many birds and wildlife as possible in one day. A man named Frank Chapman was concerned about conservation and proposed people count birds, rather than kill them. Thus, the Christmas Bird Count was born. Fast-forward 115 years, and the Christmas Bird Count is the longest running citizen science survey in the world!
The CBC is conducted in the U.S., Canada and several countries in the Western Hemisphere during a three week period at the end of the year and gives scientists an idea of trends within bird populations. Anyone can participate in the count. For more information, contact Bob Domagalski, coordinator for Manitowoc County at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you live outside Manitowoc County, contact Kyle Lindemer, the CBC coordinator for Wisconsin at email@example.com. For more information about the history of the CBC, visit http://birds.audubon.org/faq/cbc
At Woodland Dunes, we wanted to open the count to kids in hopes of mentoring the next generation of birders. This year marks the third year we are offering the CBC for Kids. Children ages 8 and up work in small teams guided by adult birders. The event starts indoors where the kids learn birding basics such as how to use binoculars, where to look for birds and what clues to look at to identify the bird. Once each group has thought of a team name, they head outdoors with their adult guide and count birds for about one hour.
While the older children are out counting, their younger siblings (ages 4 – 7) are invited to participate in the Budding Birders program. This year, the Budding Birders will be decorating for the birds by making different bird feeders and garland to hang outside the Nature Center.
Once the teams are back from counting, they’ll warm up with a hot beverage and a snack. Then, they will tally their results and present their findings to the rest of the groups and the Budding Birders. All the information the kids collect will be included in the Christmas Bird Count data, which is used by Audubon and other conservation organizations. Your children will be collecting valuable information!
It is my hope that the CBC for Kids will become a tradition for families in Manitowoc County. Please consider bringing your children to this fun program on Saturday, December 27th from 9:00-11:30am. The cost is $2 per child and registration is required by Monday, December 22nd by
calling 920-793-4007 or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope to see you there!