On January 5th, 2017 nature lovers and birders of all levels of experience will gather at Bryce Canyon National Park to participate in the world’s longest running citizen bird census. The National Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count, now in its 117th year, is an annual event that brings together volunteers across the United States, South America, Canada, and distant Pacific islands, to assist scientists in the monumental task of assessing the health of bird populations.
The event is free, and will begin at 8:30 a.m. with hot drinks and pastries in the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center. Beginners will be paired with experienced birders, and groups will be provided with everything needed to conduct the count within the fifteen-mile radius assigned to the park. Following the morning bird count, a chili lunch and souvenir t-shirts will be provided back at the Visitor Center, thanks to the Bryce Canyon Natural History Association.
Currently the park is looking for volunteers to help with the 2016 count. If you are interested in participating, please contact Ranger Peter Densmore at 435-834-4744. Those who volunteer will receive free park admission. Additionally those in the local area who would like to contribute data by counting from their home feeders are invited to contact the park as well.
Other counts have been held locally in the Kanab, Boulder, and Escalante areas, and will also be conducted in Glen Canyon on January 4th. Information on other gatherings in Utah can be found at utahbirds.org.
Additional information can also be obtained by visiting the park’s website at www.nps.gov/brca.