Photo by Bonnie Ott

Photo by Bonnie Ott

The annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) has been held for well over a century and is conducted by National Audubon Society with help from thousands of volunteers. Between December 15 and January 5 volunteers throughout the Americas take part in the effort. Audubon and other organizations use data collected in this long-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations, and to help guide conservation actions. The count is constructed differently than the MOS seasonal counts in that volunteers attempt to count all birds within the same set of non-overlapping circles every year. Approximately 25 circles contain at least a portion of Maryland. Refer to the CBC site to learn more, find a circle near you and count! It’s a great way to get outside, relax and bird during a busy time of year when there are so many other distractions.