Christmas Bird Counts begun on Christmas Day 1900, when ornithologist Frank M. Chapman, an early officer in the then-nascent Audubon Society, proposed a new holiday tradition—a "Christmas Bird Census" that would count birds during the holidays rather than hunt them. At the time, the “gentlemen” had Christmas Side Hunts, where they shot as much game or birds in one day as possible, and the largest pile of dead things won. Christmas Bird Count was introduced to replace the mass killing.
From December 14 through January 5, counts are completed, mostly by volunteers, within a 17 mile circle, and you can count inside that circle for 24 hours. It is meant to establish wintering populations of birds. Today there are total of 2,505 circles covered, with 76,669 observers in the field and at feeders. In total, 58,878,071 birds were tallied, while 2,607 species were reported - roughly one-quarter of the world’s known avifauna.
Christmas is the time to bird count! The 61st annual Christmas Bird Count for the Freeport/Lake Jackson area is scheduled for December 17th, 2017. The area censused includes Surfside, Freeport, Clute, Jones Creek, Richwood, and Lake Jackson. If you are interested in participating in this, the 61st annual count, please contact Tad Finnell at firstname.lastname@example.org. You have to register for each count. Here in Brazoria County, GCBO staff helps out with the San Bernard CBC, Freeport CBC, and Brazoria Bottomlands CBC. It’s a great way to help collect avian data!
Christmas Bird Counts are a nation-wide event organized by Audubon. If you are in other parts of Texas or other states around the US, you too can participate! Just visit Audubon's Join the Christmas Bird Counts site HERE and read through the instructions. Don't forget to sign up with/contact the person in charge of the section you wish to join and happy counting!