Birder's Guide

MAY 2014

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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42 Birder's Guide to Conservation & Community | May 2014 The Christmas Bird Count for Kids nual event experienced -26°F (-32°C)! After the survey, team members regroup and warm up with an ever-popular mug of hot chocolate and their own brown bag lunch. Excitement spreads rapidly as groups return and share their birding ex- periences, a frst for many. Whether watch- ing a Bald Eagle eat lunch on a frozen lake, espying an elusive woodpecker in the forest, or observing hundreds of Sandhill Cranes foraging in a feld, sharing birding experiences is a big highlight of the event. Finally, group tallies are complied into the long-awaited grand total list of individual birds and species. Seeing the kids actu- ally present their team results and birding highlights to the assembled audience of family and friends is unforgettable. In addition to being a fun winter bird- ing activity, observational data collected at CBC4Kids events can be contributed to eBird, a real-time, online database of bird observations across North America. Submitting their bird checklists to eBird introduces the concept of citizen science to the young naturalists and emphasizes how their efforts can assist bird population monitoring and conservation efforts. CBC4Kids continues to gain momen- tum, with more than 100 new and recur- rent events across North America. Partici- pation north of the border has doubled from last year alone, with nearly 30 events spanning from British Columbia to New- foundland. CBC4Kids events are relatively simple to set up, easy on the budget, fex- ible with regard to location, and can be hosted and organized by any group keen to connect kids to the natural world. Various youth and nature organizations, including young naturalists clubs, schools, parks, preserves, conservation areas, and wildlife refuges have been adopting CBC4Kids as a long-term Christmas holiday offering. "As more and more unique organiza- tions and birders engage in this kid-size CBC, the more excited they get about the movement's long-term sustainability and potential," says Tom Rusert, CBC4Kids co- founder. Many organizations have even added their own activities to the event day, in- cluding Budding Birder workshops for the young participants, building bird feeders and pinecone suet treats, chickadee feed- ing, providing CBC4Kids bird booklets, and hosting live raptor demonstrations. The CBC4Kids is an exciting way to en- gage youth and their families in a tradtional birdwatching event and is a stepping stone for young citizen scientists to carry their enthusiasm through to the Great Backyard Bird Count in Feburary, Migratory Bird Day events in the spring, local birdathons, and further volunteer opportunities. In ad- dition to being a fun hobby and contrib- uting valuable data for bird conservation, participating in bird-focused citizen sci- ence promotes environmental stewardship and builds a life-long appreciation for wild birds and their habitats. To learn more, visit the CBC4Kids Facebook group, or connect through #CBC4Kids on Twitter. For information and logistical sup- port to facilitate a Christmas Bird Count for Kids in the U.S., contact Sonoma Birding at 707-939-8007 or email sonomanature@gmail.com. In Canada, contact Bird Studies Canada at education@birdscanada.org or 1-888-448-2473. Birding leaders ensure that all participants correctly identify and record each species and the total number of birds counted. Photo © Duy Nguyen CBC4Kids participants in action on Pender Island, British Columbia. Photo © Hans Tammemagi 6-CBC4K.indd 42 5/22/14 7:57 PM

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