Since 1900, the National Audubon Society has led the charge in counting birds during the annual "Christmas Bird Census" across the U.S., Canada and many countries in the Western Hemisphere.
From December 14 through January 5, tens of thousands of volunteers 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 one hundred 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.
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. This year's count will help help scientists understand the impact of the Gulf oil spill on vulnerable species.
If you would like to participate this year, please click here.