Looking for something to do with the family this weekend? Take part in a tradition over 100 years old at the Prospect Park Christmas Bird Count.
The Christmas Bird Count is part of a nationwide bird census running from December 14 to January 5 which relies on volunteers armed with their binoculars, bird guides, and checklists to help track local bird populations. Prospect Park’s Audubon Center hosts the event during three separate sessions this weekend: Saturday, December 15, 12:00pm and 3:00pm; and Sunday, December 16, 3:00pm.
The event offers an opportunity to engage with nature, but it also does immense work toward conservation. From The National Audubon Society:
Each of the citizen scientists who annually braves snow, wind, or rain, to take part in the Christmas Bird Count makes an enormous contribution to conservation. Audubon and other organizations use data collected in this longest-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations – and to help guide conservation action. This year’s count will be especially important in assessing the impact of the Gulf oil spill on birds.
Last year the Brant Goose ran the show with almost 24,000 sightings, but there were also a handful of documented sightings of Snowy Owls, Pine Warblers (pictured above), and even Peregrine Falcons.
Meet with local coordinator at the Audubon Center at the Boathouse, located inside the Lincoln Road/Ocean Avenue entrance.
Photo credit Rhys Marsh via audubon.org