In Aransas County, approximately 23 birders in eight groups gathered sightings from early in the morning to just before dark on Tuesday, Dec. 28.
From Dec. 14 through Jan. 5, tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas take part in an adventure that has become a family tradition among generations. Families and students, birders and scientists, armed with binoculars, bird guides and checklists go out on an annual mission — often before dawn. For over 100 years, the desire to both make a difference and to experience the beauty of nature has driven dedicated people to leave the comfort of a warm house during the holiday season.
Each of the citizen scientists who annually braves snow, wind or rain, to take part in the Christmas Bird Count makes an enormous contribution to conservation. Audubon and other organizations use data collected in this longest-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations — and to help guide conservation action.
From feeder watchers and field observers to count compilers and regional editors, everyone who takes part in the Christmas Bird Count does it for love of birds and the excitement of friendly competition — and with the knowledge that their efforts are making a difference for science and bird conservation.
Anyone with an interest in birds or nature of any type will be welcomed at the monthly meeting of Aransas Bird and Nature Club. It is held on the third Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. in the Women’s Club of Aransas County Building. For more information, contact Debra Corpora 727-0730 or Bron Rorex 790-9353.
The Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce Tourism Development Council has sponsored this count for more than 20 years in an effort to make known to the nation the number of species sighted here in the winter months. Unfortunately, overcast skies and high winds are not conducive for getting lots of bird species listed. In spite of these difficulties, the groups spotted one exotic bird, a Monk Parrakeet, an invader from South America.
For more information, contact the National Audubon Society at www.audubon.org or contact the Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce at www.rockport-fulton.org.