We depart from our traditional format this week, in part because outdoor activities are sparse the weekend before Christmas, in part because it’s time for the Christmas Bird Count, one of the biggest — and the longest running — citizen science efforts around.
With the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count in full swing we’ve got birds on the mind this weekend. For birders, amateurs and experienced alike, it’s an especially good time to do the count: Migrants from northern climes are descending upon the state, particularly the coastal part, to wait out the winter months, adding even more variety to the state’s mix. And, as it turns out, it’s an especially good time for birding programs.
Back when William McKinley was president, a first-class postage stamp was $.02 and the champions of college football were the Yale Bulldogs, Frank Chapman thought it might be nice to go out on Christmas Day and look for birds. This was a common occurrence of the day, though the “looking” also involved shooting. Chapman’s idea was to take the gun out of the equation.