Audubon Christmas Bird Count is Dec. 18


Staff report

GREENVILLE — Greenville will be hosting a Christmas Bird Count sponsored by the Darke County Birders.

The Greenville Circle count will be held on Saturday, Dec. 18, as Greenville is the center of a 15-mile radius circle. The circle is divided into pie-like pieces. A lot of the count is done by car with some walking.

It will begin by meeting to get assignments between 7:30 and 8 a.m. Less experienced birders will be matched with more experienced birders. Covid restrictions will be followed. We will meet around noon for a lunch and to turn in lists and determine where to go in the afternoon, if needed. We would love to have new people help.

If you are in the circle, you can count birds at your home feeders and send your list to the email given. When reporting your feeder birds for the day, please give your address, the number of each species, and the time you spent watching.

From Dec. 14 through Jan. 5, tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas take part in the effort each year. Audubon and other organizations use data collected in this long-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations, and to help guide conservation action.

Prior to the 20th century, hunters engaged in a holiday tradition known as the Christmas “Side Hunt” where they would choose sides and go afield to see who could bring in the biggest pile of feathered quarry.

Conservation was in its beginning stages in that era, and scientists were becoming concerned about declining bird populations. Beginning on Christmas Day 1900, ornithologist Frank M. Chapman, an early officer in the Audubon Society, proposed a new holiday tradition called a Christmas Bird Census that would count birds during the holidays rather than hunt them.

So began the Christmas Bird Count. Thanks to the inspiration of Chapman and the enthusiasm of 27 dedicated birders, 25 Christmas Bird Counts were held that day across North America. One was in Darke County for the first two years. No more Christmas Bird counts were held in Darke County until the Nature Trails Club took up the Greenville circle in the 1960’s. A small group of birding enthusiasts including the Darke County Birders and the Darke Countians for Wildlife have kept it going.

For meeting place and other information, contact 937-623-0487 or [email protected].

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