From Jenny Gaden:
Here we are in the middle of October with winter not so far away, and winter brings on thoughts of the Charlottesville Christmas Bird Count. Many of you may be wondering how or if Covid -19 might affect our count.
Audubon offers two options.
1. Run a COVID-19 safe and socially distanced CBC if COVID local rules allow. We must wait until November 15 at the earliest to choose this option in order to better understand the status of COVID outbreak in our region during the CBC.
2. If option 1 is not possible or desired, cancel this season’s CBC. According to Audubon, there will be little to no impact on the scientific value of the Christmas Bird Count by missing or altering one count season. Safety is the first priority.
If we choose option 1, here are the guidelines that Audubon urges us to follow:
1. Wait until November 15 at the earliest to confirm CBC will take place if the local regulations allow. Should we proceed, the date of the Charlottesville
Christmas Bird Count will be Sunday, December 20.
2. Our in-person- potluck will be canceled and no other in-person compilation gatherings are to take place. We will, however, be organizing a virtual potluck on Zoom.
3. Social distancing and/or masking are required at all times in the field.
4. Carpooling may only occur within existing familiar or social “pod” groups.
5. Activities must comply with all current state and municipal COVID-19 guidelines.
So unless I hear a groundswell in favor of canceling now, I suggest we wait until the middle of November to assess the situation and make our final decision then. Please speak up if you have additional thoughts about this plan.
Jenny Gaden, Compiler