The Christmas Bird Count: all your questions answered – Philadelphia Water Department


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Philadelphia Parks & Recreation is seeking volunteers for its annual Christmas Bird Count. This year’s event will be held at Pennypack Environmental Center (PEC). It takes place on December 17, 2022.  
This is the 123rd Christmas Bird Count. It is an annual of the National Audubon Society. Audubon partners with organizations across the country to complete the count. 
Pennypack Environmental Center is located at 8600a Verree Road in Pennypack Park in Northeast Philadelphia. It has participated in the count for over 60 years. 
Parks & Rec’s Stephanie Robinson is managing this year’s count. Stephanie is an environmental education specialist at the center. She provided the following information:
The Christmas Bird Count was started by Frank Chapman. He was one of most influential ornithologist of the 20th Century. 
Frank and other conservationists started the Bird Count on December 25, 1900. Organizers started the winter bird census to raise awareness about declining bird populations. Instead of hunting birds on Christmas Day, volunteers went outside to count the different species of birds. Now, people around the world gather to count birds and collect data for scientists.  
Although the Count originally took place on Christmas Day, it now happens on a range of dates. Generally, it takes place between December 14 and January 5. Event organizers or compilers select one day during that time to count birds. 
No. Participation is free, but volunteers must register in advance.  
Each count takes place in an established 15-mile diameter circle. Organizers assign birders to a specific area to count all the birds they see that day.  
The Pennypack Valley count circle is a 15-mile radius. It includes Pennypack Park and Pennypack Ecological Trust in Huntington Valley. View historical results for the Pennypack Valley.  The count begins at 7 a.m. and goes late into the evening.
It’s helpful to have a pair of binoculars! Participants can borrow binoculars from the environmental center.  
Scientists use the data collected to determine how birds are doing. It allows scientists to monitor and study the health of different bird populations.  
Yes! The center is hosting additional programming for birders of all ages later in the day. Attendees can learn fun facts about winter birds and help count birds at the center at 11 a.m. Register now for the event.  
Visit Audubon’s website for more information. 
Email Stephanie.Hoffer@phila.gov,if you have questions about the Pennypack Bird Count. 
 

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