Outdoor Fun for Science in the Fifth Annual San Miguel Christmas Bird Count
By Signe Hammer
Come spend a fun morning outdoors with Audubon de México as thousands of birders from Canada to South America participate in the longest-running citizen science survey in the world to count birds.
For 119 years, birders all over the Americas have been teaming up to count birds between mid-December and early January. San Miguel’s Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is coming up on Sunday, December 16.
How does it work? On count day, teams fan out to count all the birds they can find within a 15-mile-diameter circle. San Miguel is one of many circles in México, and we count birds at three sites within our circle: El Charco del Ingenio, our beautiful botanical garden; a richly varied site along the Rio Laja, near the bridge at Cieneguita; and Peña Blanca, another bird-rich site a few miles past the Presa Allende dam. At Peña Blanca, we’ll combine the CBC with our regular December Audubon bird walk. Look for the announcement next week.
Why count birds? Each of the three teams will send its bird-count numbers to our count compiler, Luke Rich, who will enter them online. The combined CBC data from all over the Western Hemisphere will provide a living snapshot of bird populations throughout the Americas, helping researchers study their movements and overall health.
CBC data was key to US Audubon’s landmark Birds and Climate Change Report, which predicts that due to global warming, more than half of North America’s bird species will be forced out of their current ranges. For example, the American kestrel, the small, colorful falcons we see perched on poles out in the campo, will likely have to move northward. But the bright-red-faced house finches that warble cheerily in trees around town will increase their range, finding more territory congenial to them.
So whether you’re an experienced or novice birder, come help us count birds on December 16! We’ll meet at 7:45am in front of the Instituto Allende, form teams, and carpool to the sites. Children age 10 and up are welcome, and if you have a car, please bring it.
Wear sturdy walking shoes, and bring water and a hat. We’ll have telescopes and a few pairs of binoculars to lend. We’ll count for about three hours, starting at 9am. You should be back by about 12:30pm, happy with your contribution to citizen science!
Please contact audubondeMexico@gmail.com to preregister with your name, phone number, and whether you can bring a car with room for fellow counters.
Audubon de México Outdoor Activities
San Miguel Christmas Bird Count
Sun, Dec 16, 7:45am
Meet in front of Instituto Allende
Ancha de San Antonio 20
audubondeMéxico@gmail.com or 415 119 4671
Free: preregistration necessary