Sequoia Parks Conservancy Announces 2019 Christmas Bird Count in Sequoia National Park

Three Rivers, CA, December 9, 2019 – Sequoia Parks Conservancy is excited to announce the 120th Annual Christmas Bird Count in Sequoia National Park on December 14, 2019.
Each year, tens of thousands of volunteers across North America take part in the Christmas Bird Count, a massive citizen-science project. The data collected in this wildlife census is used to assess the health of bird populations and help guide conservation action.

Photo courtesy of Cade Castle

Interested participants should meet at Foothills Visitor Center in Sequoia National Park. Owl counting starts at 6:00 AM. General bird counting begins at 7:00 AM. This is a multi-hour event where participants choose a specific area in the park to count birds. To learn more or to register, visit www.sequoiaparksconservancy.org/birdcount.

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History of the Bird Count Prior to the turn of the twentieth century, hunters engaged in a holiday tradition known as the Christmas “Side Hunt,” essentially a hunting competition. Conservation was in its early stages in that era, and many observers and scientists were becoming concerned about declining bird populations. Beginning on Christmas Day 1900, ornithologist Frank M. Chapman, an early officer in the Audubon Society, proposed a new holiday tradition — a “Christmas Bird Census” that would count birds during the holidays rather than hunt them.

Photo courtesy of Cade Castle

Thanks to the inspiration of Chapman and the enthusiasm of 27 dedicated birders, 25 Christmas Bird Counts were held that first year. The locations ranged from Toronto, Ontario to Pacific Grove, California, with most counts in or near the population centers of northeastern North America. Those original 27 Christmas Bird Counters tallied around 90 species on all the counts combined.