Have you ever watched a bird flitter from tree to tree wondering what kind it was? Curious which species have stopped by your feeder for a quick bite to eat? The fastest way to learn to identify birds is to get in the field with a guide in-hand and maybe a birding expert or two, and a Christmas Bird Count provides the perfect opportunity.
Christmas Bird Counts bring birders of all skill levels together as they spend time canvassing established circular census areas, recording species and numbers of birds observed. Information recorded at Christmas Bird Counts is then entered into regional and national databases, in part, to help illustrate population and migration trends.
The Kansas Ornithological Society (KOS) has taken the guesswork out of finding a count near you by compiling a comprehensive list of Kansas Christmas Bird Counts on their website, www.ksbirds.org. The list includes all the location and contact information you need, so all that’s left is clothing appropriate for traipsing outdoors, a pair of binoculars, and a good field guide.
This holiday season, hone a new skill and find yourself among like-minded individuals at a Christmas Bird Count near you. You’ll be glad you tried something new.