Before we wrap up 2017, the Franklin Bird Club will participate in one more major bird count. Thursday, Dec. 14, is this year’s annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count. 5 teams, composed of FBC members, will brave the elements to count species and bird numbers for the entire day. Each team has its own area within a 15 mile circle centered in Franklin. Looking for something new–and a bit “cool”–to do, call 828-524-4707.
Did You Know? The Audubon Christmas Bird Count began 117 years ago. The count was in response to the popular holiday activity of seeing how many birds a person could shoot in one day. Beginning on Christmas in 1900, birder Frank Chapman proposed a new tradition of counting birds rather than hunting them. Today, birds are counted by thousands of birding enthusiasts throughout the Americas. According to the Audubon Society, “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.”
Our brief Christmas Count history:
2012 (practice year)–21 birders–57 species–Total birds counted: 3,323
2013 (Year 1)–31 birders–60 species–Total birds counted: 4,270 plus 60,000 robins
2014 (Year 2)–30 birders–64 species–Total birds counted: 6,196
2015 (Year 3)–27 birders–65 species–Total birds counted: 3,420
2016 (Year 4)–34 birders–71 species–Total birds counted: 5,596
Join us for 2017 (Year 5) and help answer the questions: ? Birders–? species–Total birds counted: ??
One of last year’s big finds (thanks Tim):