There’s more to viewing and identifying birds. How about counting them? And what are they doing? Two favorite activities of birders are census taking and breeding bird surveys. As you may know, many bird species are in serious decline while others are stable or even increasing. One way of tracking the changing populations is to send teams to the field to survey the population. While ornithologists often do very detailed monitoring of, say nesting behavior of a particular species, they usually can’t afford the time to do this for many species and in many locations. That’s where you and MOS can help.

Seasonal Counts

MOS sponsors or helps coordinate four species counts in Maryland each year – Mid-Winter, Spring or May, Fall, and Christmas bird count (CBC)  The first three counts are timed to monitor, respectively, the local population of bird in the dead of winter, the wave of spring migrants heading north, and the wave heading south for the winter. CBC is led by National Audubon and many MOS members participate. Counting presents real challenges to accuracy. Weather is a huge factor as is the experience of the birders. Thus, the results in any one year may be quite imprecise but over many years trends become quite evident. Please consider joining one of the seasonal counts and experience another aspect of birding! Contact your local chapter or check the calendar to learn more information on these counts in your area. All the counts subscribe to the same set of General Guidelines. If you see a rare bird on any of the counts, please read our Rare Sightings Report Guidelines and checkout our Records Committee information and form.

Citizen Science Monitoring

The Maryland Bird Conservation Partnership coordinates several citizen science monitoring programs. Click on the Initiatives tab on the MBCP web site for information on these programs.