Its time for Christmas Bird Count planning and things are looking positive. The National Audubon Society asked that all compilers check with their local health departments to assess the local conditions for Covid-19 before making a decision about holding the Christmas Bird Count for this season. I have done so and everything looks positive for going ahead with the Charlottesville Christmas Bird Count on Sunday, December 20. There will be some differences from previous counts because of the pandemic.
First, the maximum number of people in a group in the field will be five.
Second, we ask that all participants who meet as a group with people outside their household agree to the following rules:
- I will not attend the Charlottesville CBC if I am feeling unwell.
- I will not carpool with others outside of my household.
- I agree to wear a face covering at all times when with others outside of my household. The covering must cover both the mouth and nose.
- I agree not to share binoculars, scopes, cameras, food, or other personal products.
- I agree to maintain at least 10 feet of separation from other participants outside of my household.
The Charlottesville Christmas Bird Count, held every year since 1924, is part of the longest running citizen science project in the world. By taking part, you are adding data critical for understanding bird distribution and population. See https://www.audubon.org/conservation/science/christmas-bird-count for more history information.
After the count we will hold a virtual zoom “potluck”, really just to compile the data that has been collected that day. It’s always fun to hear what the participants have seen. This is not the final count. All the data from the field will be sent to me and I will then send it to the National Audubon Society. They determine the official count. The Piedmont Virginia Bird Club will send out the Zoom links for the compilation.
More details about the count will come in a couple of weeks.