The dates for the 2016-2017 Christmas Bird Counts are:
These local-area counts are part of a Christmas Bird Count that has been conducted throughout the western hemisphere every year since 1900 under the auspices of the National Audubon Society.
The purpose is to monitor the status and distribution of early-winter bird populations. The data collected from this volunteer-based effort have been folded into what is now the longest-running database in ornithology, representing over 100 years of continuous information. This database is used to help spot trends in bird populations, which in turn can help identify shifts in environmental conditions.
Currently, over 62,000 volunteers across the Americas participate in each year's count.
Both experienced and novice birders are welcome to join in this season's Eastern Panhandle counts. Novice volunteers will be teamed with those who have more experience. All those who participate must register beforehand with PVAS.
To register and/or to obtain more information, contact: Bob Dean at firstname.lastname@example.org
The data from the Charles Town and Inwood CBCs is available online at http://www.christmasbirdcount.org On the right side click on Results, Data & Research Then click Results, Current & Historical At the top of the page put your cursor on Current Year and 2 options pop up; choose and follow links to your count of interest. For count results enter year of interest, country, and state and codes for local counts will pop up. The Charles Town count is WVCT. The Inwood count is WVIN. As counts are completed they are checked and then available online.
Bob Dean's More Local Report: The 114th running of the Christmas Bird Count was one of surprising numbers. The two local counts had a total of 16 species observed in record numbers. The Charles Town count was held on Dec. 15th with 12 species topping former record highs: Ring-necked Duck, Hooded Merganser, Great Blue Heron, Ring-billed Gull, Common Raven, Horned Lark, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina and Winter Wrens, Eastern Bluebird, Dark-eyed Junco, and Rusty Blackbird. Bald Eagles were 1 shy of their record of 13 in 2011. The post count tally rally was held at La Mezzaluna; a filling experience.
The 4 record breaking species for the Inwood count were Wild Turkey (68 in one flock), Bald Eagle, Cooperʼs Hawk, and Red-shouldered Hawk. There were also 3 first time encounters on this count. Nancy and Elliot Kirschbaum and Bill Telfair had the good fortune to find a large flock of Canada geese with a single, well documented Cackling Goose keeping company. Excellent spotting! Lynne Wiseman and her usual team of Tess England, Bruni Haydl, and Susan Jones found the first Greater Scaup on West Quarry in Martinsburg, the site for 2 of your compilerʼs lifers, Lesser Scaup and Horned Grebe, in the late ʽ70s. Wil Hershberger, Gabby and Mackie Martin, and yours truly observed a Golden Eagle while checking an active feeder on the eastern foot of Third Hill Mountain near Jones Spring. Gabby happened to look up at the right moment to spot the young bird as it flew low over the open field where we were parked. A good lessen in keeping an eye to the sky. The tally rally was kindly hosted by Sarah and Stan Corwin-Roach. There were many wonderful dishes from which to choose.
A sincere thank you to everyone who participated or helped behind the scenes and commend the Charles Town participants for their amazing show of flexibility in switching days at the 11th hour (due to really bad weather). We lost only two participants, but gained one so it was relatively painless.