The Christmas Bird Count is held annually between December 14 and January 5, and it is visited by thousands of American bird watchers with binoculars, hoping to make observations of them.

The one-day duration event is carried out by volunteers – organized by naturalists groups – that participate in a recount that contributes to the study and conservation of birds. It represents North America’s longest-running citizen science project and a crucial part of Canada’s biodiversity monitoring database.

“The Christmas Bird Count is a fun tradition with an important goal— bird study and conservation,” says Anne Bell, director of conservation and education at Ontario Nature. “It’s great to see expert and novice birders working together to spot as many species as possible.” According to the Independent Free Press

Jennifer Smith looks through binoculars for birds near Vaseux Lake during a previous Christmas Bird Count. The count is done by volunteer bird enthusiasts. Photo: Dick Cannings file photo/Osoyoos Times

In an attempt to eliminate bird hunting as part of a sport, this tradition was established in 1990 as an alternative to it.

Koes, a bird guide and retired high school teacher said that in late 1800, in New England, existed the side hunt, a sport that consisted of two groups of men who went out to shoot as many birds as they could, in which the team who had the most dead birds, won.

However, over 100 years later, the sport took a quieter turn. People in more than 2,000 localities across North America participate every year.

Global warming has caused more birds to spend the winter further south, causing a new diversity of birds appear in the Canadian surveys.

After the event, the community schedule a day to do the counting of the observed birds, in which they go to a member’s house for a dinner party and make the counting of the seen species.

Between every zone there is a lot of competition to see who has seen the best birds.

Source: CBC News