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Thanksgiving Day Western Bird Count

Main Project Information
Goal Help monitor winter bird populations in Western states.
Task Count birds in a 15-foot area for 1 hour on Thanksgiving Day.
Where AK

Count birds within a 15-foot area, anywhere in the Western states, for one hour on Thanksgiving Day; you decide the hour and the location.
Last year 431 counters in the eleven Western States and Alaska made 440 counts. They tallied 161 species of birds (plus a lot of mammals and other things, too). The top five species counted in these states were House Sparrow (1), Dark-eyed Junco (2), House Finch (3), Black-capped Chickadee (4) and European Starling (5). As predicted, the Pine Siskin dropped out of the top five last season, but should be more numerous this year. Participants should send in a report even if no birds were seen during the hour.

How to Join

Mark a circle 15-feet in diameter. This circle can be considered a cylinder, since all birds seen on the ground (or water), in vegetation or flying over or through the circle can be counted. Individual birds are to be counted only once during the hour, even if they continue to pay visits. Flocks should be estimated or counted and just the highest number at any one time used. Count circles are usually located around whatever attracts birds--feeders, baths, cover, etc. Most participants establish a count area visible from a comfortable spot near a window. The same count circles should be used each year.
Download the Count Form here

Ideal Age Group Elementary school (6 - 10 years), Middle school (11 - 13 years), High school (14 - 17 years), College, Graduate students, Adults, Families
Spend the Time outdoors
Type of Activity While fishing, On a hike, At home
Media Mentions
and Publications
Tags bird, birding, birds, Birds, count, counting
Project Updated 05/23/2018