Citizen scientists looking for birds at the Furnace Creek Ranch during the 2016 Christmas Bird Count.
NPS photo

Death Valley, CA–Through the holiday season, citizen scientists will once again fan out across America and America’s national parks to count birds. One of the longest running citizen science events in the world, the National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count (CBC) began in 1900. It provides reliable data that help demonstrate the importance of national parks to birds.

This year the annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) for Death Valley National Park will take place on December 16, 2017. Birders and non-birders alike can experience the diversity of habitats and species found in the Death Valley/Furnace Creek area. The public is invited to participate in this count and all skill levels are welcome. For beginners, this is a great opportunity to learn about birds in the area, get identification tips and meet others interested in birding in desert environments.

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The bird count will begin at 7 a.m. at the Oasis at Death Valley (formerly Furnace Creek Ranch) Golf Course parking lot. Participants should wear shoes, dress in layers, and bring a hat, sunscreen, water and food. Binoculars are recommended. Participants do not need to commit to the entire day, but must be there at 7 a.m. For more information, contact Josh Hoines 760-786-3253 or josh_hoines@nps.gov.

The data collected by CBC participants over the past century allow researchers, conservation biologists, and other interested individuals to study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America. When combined with other bird surveys, it provides a picture of how the continent’s bird populations have changed over the past hundred years. The long-term perspective made possible by the Christmas Bird Count is vital for conservationists. It helps guide strategies to protect birds and their habitat, and helps identify environmental issues with implications for people as well. Each year, the CBC mobilizes more than 70,000 volunteers in more than 2,400 locations. When compiled, the results will be posted at http://birds.audubon.org/christmas-bird-count.

The Christmas Bird Count is also a fun day to be outdoors, learn about local and migratory bird species, and meet new people.

Death Valley National Park is the homeland of the Timbisha Shoshone and preserves natural and cultural resources, exceptional wilderness, scenery, and learning experiences within the nation’s largest conserved desert landscape and some of the most extreme climate and topographic conditions on the planet. About two-thirds of the park was originally designated as Death Valley National Monument in 1933. Today the park is enjoyed by about 1,300,000 people per year and encompasses over 3,300,000 acres.

Source: NPS

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