42 years of Christmas Bird Count at Bernheim Forest

By Kelly Vowels

Photo by Kelly Vowels
Photo by Kelly Vowels

From December 14 to January 5 every year, thousands of birders come out across North America and count every bird they encounter in the Christmas Bird Count (CBC), which was started in 1900 by Frank Chapman. The CBC provides data on population trends of many species of birds across the country.

The first Bernheim Forest CBC was in the winter of 1973/74, and has been conducted annually ever since. This year the count was conducted on December 20, 2014. 65 bird species were counted among 5070 individuals. The most common bird species observed was European Starling (1380), which is the case every year. Canada Goose are also usually counted in high numbers every year, and this year, 589 were seen. Blue Jay (310 individuals) numbers were high for this year, as were Rock Pigeon (267).  An adult Bald Eagle, Eastern Screech Owl, Barred Owl, and Great Horned Owl were observed on the count. With the clear view through bald trees, winter is a wonderful time to go birding at Bernheim Forest – we hope to see you here.

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