BAYPORT, MN–Today was the day, friends. In an age where planning ahead seems as difficult as memorizing pharmaceutical notes, this day was planned a year in advance. In fact, the follow-up is even planned for a year from now. Every year, hundreds of crazy birders take to the winter and spend an entire day bird watching. For some, crazy. For others, “eh”. For myself and many more, well, inspiring!
If you’re new to the Christmas Bird Count, it’s perhaps the oldest citizen-science initiative in the US. Instead of a bunch of folks just going out to count and watch birds, the Audubon Society organizes count “circles” to structure the time and space for the bird data. The count circle I attended has been active in the Northeast Metro for 50 years, always on the Saturday that lands between Christmas Day and New Years. Before this Northeast Metro count was even started however, the tradition of the Audubon Christmas Bird Count had long been established.