Happy New Year to everyone!
I think I can safely speak for the other CBC Circle Compilers and myself when I give my sincere thanks to all those who volunteered their hours of time and effort to help with any one of the three Christmas Bird Counts in Orange County, many of which who spent countless hours helping with all three.
Now that we’ve all heard that North America has lost over 3 billion birds since the 1970’s, one third of the population, these counts are more important than ever.
Yet, every year we find it harder and harder to get enough volunteers with birding experience to help us with these counts. And, although we truly appreciate and are grateful for the help and enthusiasm of new birders on the scene. The fact still remains that our goal on Count day is to identify each bird to species, something that requires birding experience to achieve. So, not always having enough volunteers with bird identification experience makes these efforts challenging, year after year. However, some volunteers have devoted decades to these efforts.
The upcoming rarities field trip on Saturday was originally scheduled, back in the day, so that those folks who had spent their day volunteering to count birds in other parts of the Count circle would have the opportunity, come the weekend, to go out and see the rare birds that they had missed because they were elsewhere within the circle diligently counting every bird, common or not.
Now, the rarities trip has become very popular with many birders and often hosts 30 or 40 or kore people. We don’t make this an exclusive field trip, and everyone is welcomed to attend, even those folks who don’t seem to find time once, twice or even three times a year to give back to the birds and help us understand more about their wellbeing by counting them for the CBC.
So, while we are waiting for these volunteers who have given of their time to count, gather and compile all the date, perhaps we can be patient. And, understanding, knowing that the entire CBC is based on the efforts of volunteers to do the job that so many don’t seem to be interested in doing.
Maybe next year, we will be able to increase our volunteer base making it easier to get the job done so that the tally’s can be reported to the masses more quickly.
Thanks again to all of those folks who came out to help us again this year, and for the first time!! And, perhaps we’ll see more of you all around Christmas time at the end of this new year.
Bird Every Moment!
Coastal CBC Compiler