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2012 Christmas Bird Count - Wrap Up

Christmas Bird Count birdwatching in Aspen

The Audubon Christmas Bird Count is the longest-running citizen science survey in the world, drawing some 60,000 participants throughout North, Central and South America.  Running since 1900, the count data provide a picture of how bird populations have changed in time and space over the last 113 years. This information helps conservation biologists and interested individuals study long-term health and status of bird populations, revealing such factors as habitat fragmentation and environmental threats like groundwater pollution, misuse of pesticides, and impacts of climate change.  It informs reports and policies that can promote the broader awareness and protection of declining bird populations. The count is also a day for bird enthusiasts to come together and share their knowledge and passion!

On Sunday, December 30, 2012 I worked for ACES (in partnership with Roaring Fork Audubon) to organize the annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) for the Aspen area. Our CBC, which is part of The Audubon Society's global citizen science project, included 16 participants who split into 5 groups to cover a 15-mile diameter circle that included Aspen, Woody Creek, all four ski areas, and part of the Snowmass Creek area. We had a great time! Forty-two bird species were observed on count day, which was clear for a short time in the morning and then overcast the rest of the day.  Birds were not particularly active during the count, however a fairly high number of American Dippers (36 individuals, pictured above), were seen on the Roaring Fork River and at nearby creeks within the count circle. Additionally, a group of Common Redpolls was observed in Aspen Village, a rare and exciting sighting as Aspen is out of their usual winter range!

Take a look at our count list for 2012, and consider joining us next year! Check on ACES’ website in late November for information about next year’s Aspen area Christmas Bird Count.

15
143
4
34
1
1
4
6
4
1
56
12
7
2
 Canada Goose
Mallard
American Green-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Lesser Scaup
Wild Turkey
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk
Golden Eagle
American Kestrel
Rock Pigeon
Eurasian Collared-dove
Common Redpoll
Belted Kingfisher
1
1
2
2
35
27
1
163
179
131
87
80
2
1

 

Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern (red-shafted) Flicker
Gray Jay
Steller's Jay
Western Scrub Jay
Clarks Nutcracker
Black-billed Magpie
American Crow
Common Raven
Black-capped Chickadee
Mountain Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
 36
13
1
56
CW*
3
3
2
50
162
CW*
1
29
3
 American Dipper (pictured above)
Townsend's Solitaire
American Robin
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Dark-eyed Junco (gray-headed)
Gray-crowned Rosy Finch
Brown-capped Rosy Finch
Pine Grosbeak
Cassin's Finch
House Finch
American Goldfinch

* count week

~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Guest Naturalist