The Audubon Society of Kalamazoo and the Kalamazoo Nature Center sponsor six Christmas Bird Counts (CBCs) in the area each season. The purpose of CBCs is to record the number and species of birds within each count area. From this information the abundance and distribution of the early winter birds can be determined. A more basic and common reason for participating in a CBC is, they’re fun! You do not need to be an expert to participate. On the contrary, these counts are an opportunity for beginning birders to see and learn about the area’s winter birds. About 85-90 species are usually found on the combined list of counts. Novices will be placed with an experienced observer or team, so they can spend their time watching and enjoying while others do more of the counting. Enjoying ourselves is a major part of the counts. By far most of the birding is done by car from roadsides, so if you get chilled you have a place to warm up. Each team searches an assigned area for its birds, stopping at various appropriate habitats. The counts themselves are an all-day affair, although it is possible to arrange to come for a half day only.
For all counts, please contact the compiler well in advance if you intend to participate.
Saturday, December 15, Battle Creek, to participate contact the compiler, John Brenneman, at the Kalamazoo Nature Center, 269-381-1574 ext. 30, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, December 17, Dowagiac, to participate contact the compiler, John Brenneman, at the Kalamazoo Nature Center, 269-381-1574 ext. 30, or e-mail him at email@example.com.
Thursday, December 27, Allegan State Game Area, to participate contact the compiler, John Brenneman, at the Kalamazoo Nature Center, 269-381-1574 ext. 30, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, December 29, Kalamazoo, to participate contact the compiler, Russ Schipper, 269-375-7210, or by e-mail at email@example.com. We meet at 12:00 noon for a potluck lunch at the People’s Church at 1758 North 10th Street. Bring a dish to pass and table service. Hot tea and coffee will be provided. Those not participating in the morning are also welcome to bring a table service and dish to pass and join us.
Tuesday, January 1, Southern Kalamazoo County, if you wish to participate contact the compiler, Brenda Keith, at 269- 327-0671 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We meet at the Keiths’ at 12:00 noon. Brenda provides hot soup, beverages, and more. Bring a dish to pass and/or your lunch.
Thursday, January 3, Gobles, to participate contact the compiler, John Brenneman, at the Kalamazoo Nature Center, at 269-381-1574 ext. 30, or e-mail him at email@example.com.
FEEDER WATCHERS – The birds that come to feeders within a count area also can be counted. So, if you think you might live in one of the count areas, contact the compiler or Russ Schipper, 269-375-7210, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to be sure. An hour or two over the course of the day is sufficient. Please call the compiler or Russ (see above) for instructions and a CBC feeder count form and to determine if you live within one of the CBC count areas.
The Kalamazoo Christmas Bird Count (CBC) Potluck will be on Saturday, December 29, at the People’s Church, 1758 North 10th Street (Room 8), beginning at 12:00 noon. Those who have been out birding all morning will meet at the Church to take a break and have some lunch before heading out again. Anyone is welcome to join us, even if not spending the day birding. Please bring a dish to pass, preferably a hot one, since a number of people will have been out in the cold all morning. Also bring your own place setting and beverage. Hot tea and coffee will be available.
Although there is no formal program, we do go through the checklist of birds seen that morning, and there are always some surprises and some interesting stories. It is also a good time to turn in the results for those who have been participating by counting the birds at their feeders that morning. Please join us for good fellowship and food.