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119th Annual Christmas Bird Count, Caribou
December 15, 2018 @ 7:00 am - 11:00 am
***For immediate release***
119th Annual Christmas Bird Count
The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) season is almost upon us and Aroostook Birders club has already begun preparations for to host counts here in northern Maine. The CBC is an annual survey of wintering birds conducted by groups of citizen volunteers which comb the countryside within a “count circle”, looking for any birds that can be found.
Almost a world-wide event now, the annual Christmas Bird Count enlists thousands of volunteers across the entire western hemisphere to try to tally all birds in dozens of countries. Here in the US, it’s been a citizen science tradition of hundreds of Audubon chapters and groups nationwide for over a century. As one of the longest running biological surveys, the extensive record of data provides valuable insights into how bird populations and their habitats are doing, and what needs to be done to protect them.
Locally, two CBC’s the Caribou/Limestone count and the Presque Isle count are planned by the Aroostook Birders. Count Compiler Bill Sheehan anticipates this year will be notable as large numbers and a wide diversity of wintering birds are already being observed in both the areas.
The Presque Isle Christmas bird count has a long history going back to the 1930’s. The count is centered in downtown Presque Isle and covers parts of Chapman, Easton, Fort Fairfield, Mapleton, Presque Isle and Westfield. The PI count will be held on Saturday December 29th.
Run officially for the first time in 2011, the Caribou/Limestone count includes much of the Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge and parts of Caribou including in-town, Connor, Fort Fairfield, Limestone (downtown), New Sweden and Woodland. This count (now Maine’s northern-most) will be held on December 15th.
Between the two counts, over 80 species have been found, including such rare birds as Iceland Gulls, Snowy and Northern Hawk Owls, Carolina Wrens, Rusty Blackbird and Hoary Redpolls! Its likely some new exciting discoveries will be made this season as well. Beginners are always welcome. Hopefully you all will participate and encourage your neighbors and friends to join in too.
More info is being posted on the Aroostook Birders website and Facebook pages. To sign up or for more detailed info concerning each of the counts, call Bill at 227-7301 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org