Christmas Bird Count History

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History of the Christmas Bird Count Prior to the turn of the century, people engaged in a holiday tradition known as the Christmas “Side Hunt”: They would choose sides and go afield with their guns; whoever brought in the biggest pile of feathered (and furred) quarry won.

Conservation was in its beginning stages around the turn of the 20th century, and many observers and scientists were becoming concerned about declining bird populations. Beginning on Christmas Day 1900, ornithologist Frank Chapman, an early officer in the then budding Audubon Society, proposed a new holiday tradition-a “Christmas Bird Census”-that would count birds in the holidays rather than hunt them.

So began the Christmas Bird Count. Thanks to the inspiration of Frank M. Chapman and the enthusiasm of twenty-seven dedicated birders, twenty-five Christmas Bird Counts were held that day. The locations ranged from Toronto, Ontario to Pacific Grove, California with most counts in or near the population centers of northeastern North America. Those original 27 Christmas Bird Counters tallied around 90 species on all the counts combined.

The First Christmas Bird Count was on December 25, 1900. About 18,500 individual birds and 27 total participants Cumulative bird species list: 89 species total. 

Counts conducted in first Christmas Bird Count: 25 total counts

Scotch Lake, York County, New Brunswick                                                                                  Toronto, Ontario
Keene, New Hampshire
Belmont and Cambridge, Massachusetts                                                                                           Arnold Arboretum, Boston, Massachusetts                                                                                       Winchester, Massachusetts                                                                                                                   Bristol, Connecticut                                                                                                                                Norwalk, Connecticut                                                                                                                     Auburn to Owasco Lake, New York                                                                                                  Central Park, New York City, New York                                                                                            Englewood, New Jersey                                                                                                                        Moorestown, New Jersey                                                                                                                       Newfield, New Jersey                                                                                                                            Baldwin, Louisiana                                                                                                                                Pueblo, Colorado                                                                                                                                      Germantown, Pennsylvania                                                                                                                  Wyncote, Pennsylvania                                                                                                                           Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania                                                                                         Oberlin, Ohio                                                                                                                                         Glen Elyn, Illinois                                                                                                                                  North Freedom, Sauk County, Wisconsin                                                                                          La Grange, Missouri                                                                                                                              Pacific Grove, Monterey County, California                                                                                    Neshaminy Creek & Upper Delaware River, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania                                  Delaware River Meadows, Tinicum Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania

For detailed information about the Westport CT CBC Christmas Bird Count 2014 Click here. Backyard Birds Feeder PDF list Click Here. Christmas Bird Count Attire Click Here

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Backyard Birds Feeder Form 2014

 

Northern Cardinal, Winter snow storm, Norwalk, CT. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

COUNT ME IF YOU CAN…..

Join in the fun and help us count for the Westport CT CBC Christmas Bird Count on Sunday, December 21, 2014., how many birds you might see in your own Backyard Bird Feeder. Some birders choose to stay home instead of going out into the field. You too can participate by observing your backyard bird feeders and counting local visitors in the comfort and warmth of your own home drinking Hot Chocolate. These counts have certain guidelines but are a welcome and very important addition, to the science that 115 years of continuous data collection is done and supported by the National Audubon Society.

Feel free to print out the Backyard Birds Feeder list Click Here. or email me at mardi1d@gmail.com for additional questions or I will send you a PDF copy by email. This Feeder Form applies only to the Westport CBC Count Circle.   For detailed information about the Westport CT CBC Christmas Bird Count 2014 Click here. 

Backyard Bird Feeder Form 2014

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Westport CT Christmas Bird Count 2014

Cedar Waxwing, with Juniper berry, winter, migrant, Hamonassett SP, Madison, CT. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Cedar Waxwing, with Juniper berry, winter, migrant, Hamonassett SP, Madison, CT. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Westport, CT CBC Christmas Bird Count Sunday, December 21, 2014.

This year is the 68th Annual Westport Christmas Bird Count, and the 115th Anniversary of the National Audubon CBC concept. This fall has been pretty exciting for Connecticut birders with a number of unusual species being seen in our area. CBC participants are looking forward to finding the unusual and the commonplace too, as all birds count on a CBC.

The CBC tradition has volunteer bird watchers at all levels of experience spend all or part of one day, around the holiday season, going out into the field in various locations within the local Count Circle. Teams of observers will canvas many local hot spots.  The object is to identify and count each species of bird they see and to record how many of each type they see in one day.

The Westport CT Christmas Bird Count is conducted during a 24-hour period (rain, sleet, snow, or shine) from midnight to midnight, Sunday, December 21th, 2014. The intent of the count is to locate, identify, and count all wild birds found within a 15-mile diameter count circle, centered at Westport’s twin Bridges on Route 57. The Westport Count also includes Norwalk, Weston, Easton, Fairfield and New Canaan. Small groups of birdwatchers, led by a Captain, scour pre-assigned territories in order to maximize coverage. Others conduct backyard feeder counts in the same areas. Data collected (as well as totals from 18 other counts in Connecticut) is submitted to the National Audubon Society.

Count participants (observers) range in birding ability from pigeon-feeders to “Olympic Champions”. ALL ARE WELCOME TO PARTICIPATE. Westport CBC Count Week is Thursday 12/18 through Wednesday 12/24. Generally experienced birders are paired with those who have less experience. Most observers start looking for birds at sunrise (7am), but some go out several hours earlier searching for owls and rails. Some make a daylong affair, land & boat., others participants for just two or three hours. Field activity tends to wind down at sundown.

Remember the CBC is supposed to be fun, so stay safe. Drive carefully; watch your step, stay off private property unless arrangements have been made, wear appropriate clothing and footwear. If you are just getting started in birding or have tons of experience and think you want to join a CBC field team.

  • Contact: Mardi Dickinson – Westport CBC Compiler & Captain
  • Email: mardi1d@gmail.com
  • Tel: 203-846-0359.

For additional information about the Westport CT CBC Christmas Bird Count 2014 Backyard Birds Feeder PDF list Click Here. Christmas Bird Count Attire Click Here. Christmas Bird Count History Click Here

Backyard Feeder Counts: Some birders also choose to stay home, but they too can participate by observing their backyard bird feeders and counting local visitors. These counts have certain guidelines but are welcome additions to the science that 113 years of continuous data collection supported by the National Audubon Society.  Feeder forms can be obtained by clicking here on Westport CT Backyard Bird Feeder Form. 

The CBC results are published in AMERICAN BIRDS online magazine along with the input from 2200 other counts conducted nationwide and throughout the Americas. This is the longest running annual census of bird populations in the country, thanks to over 63,000 thousand birdwatchers who volunteer their efforts.

After the count this year the Westport CT CBC observers then will gather at 6pm to tally the results and join in on a potluck dinner celebration to discuss the highlights of the day.

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Happy Thanksgiving 2014

Happy Thanksgiving to our family and friends around the world.

~ Mardi and Townsend

Turkey, late spring, backyard, East Norwalk, CT. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Turkey, late spring, backyard, East Norwalk, CT. ©Townsend P. Dickinson. All Rights Reserved.

Thanksgiving

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

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NEW Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM

 

NEW Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM. Annouced by Canon U.S.A on November 10, 2014.

NEW Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM. Annouced by Canon U.S.A on November 10, 2014.

It’s official, the NEW Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM has just been announced.  This is the last in the L Series of the White lenses to be updated in the Canon family.  A long awaited lens that has many new features describes below. This lens for many will be a go to lens for carrying around for many types of photography situations. The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L II USM Super-Telephoto Zoom Lens is scheduled to be available in December 2014 for an estimated retail price of $2,199.00

The New Super-Telephoto Zoom Lens Delivers an Enhanced IS System Providing Four Shutter Speed Steps of Correction, a Rotation-Type Zoom Ring, and New Optical Element Formula to Help Maximize Image Quality.

MELVILLE, N.Y., November 10, 2014 ─ Canon U.S.A., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the highly anticipated  Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L II USM lens, a second generation compact super-telephoto zoom lens featuring significant advancements in optical quality, image stabilization performance up-to-four steps, and rotating-zoom-ring design. This new L-series super- telephoto zoom lens features Canon L-series weather resistance and rugged magnesium housing to meet the needs of wildlife and sports photographers or photojournalists working out in the elements. Fully compatible with all EOS cameras, the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L II USM features a completely redesigned optical formula containing one Fluorite and one Super UD lens element ─ a combination unique to lenses in this focal range ─ to help deliver sharp images with high resolution and contrast. This combination of elements helps thoroughly suppress chromatic aberration throughout the entire zoom range.

NEW Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM. Canon U.S.A. Melville, N.Y., Nov 10, 2014.

NEW Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM. Canon U.S.A. Melville, N.Y., Nov 10, 2014.

The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L II USM is the logical evolution of the very popular EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM introduced 16 years ago,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, President and COO of Canon U.S.A., Inc., “This long awaited, next generation lens was developed to be a highly portable and adaptable telephoto zoom lens for today’s modern professional and advanced amateur photographers.”

For photographers who want to work as closely as possible to their subjects, the minimum focusing distance of the lens has been reduced to just 3.2 ft. (0.98m), resulting in maximum magnification of 0.31x.  The original EF  100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM was well known for its push-pull zoom adjustment, but the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L II USM uses a rotation-type zoom ring similar to the one found on the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens that allows for more precise adjustments, easier handling, and consistently excellent weight balance during handheld photography. In addition, the lens features an improved zoom torque adjustment ring that allows for the easy setting of zoom tension based on personal shooting preferences. The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L II USM also features an inner focusing system, a powerful yet quiet Ring USM, a high-speed CPU and optimized auto focus (AF) algorithms for fast and accurate autofocusing in various shooting situations.

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II MTF Chart - Click for Larger

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II MTF Chart

NEW Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM. Canon U.S.A. Melville, N.Y., Nov 10, 2014.

NEW Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM.

The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L II USM features three Image Stabilization (IS) modes ─ standard, panning, and during exposure only.  Each IS mode is individually engineered to help provide outstanding results in a wide variety of shooting situations, and all serve to satisfy the personal preferences of photographers based on the type of IS they desire. The optical IS provides up to four shutter speed steps of correction, increased from 1.5 steps in the previous model*. In addition, the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L II USM features Canon’s newly developed Air Sphere Coating (ASC) which helps to reduce backlit flaring and ghosting significantly, as well as a 9-bladed circular aperture Electro-Magnetic Diaphragm that helps to enhance beautiful, softly blurred backgrounds.

ET-83D Lens Hood which allows easy access to your filters such as a Circular Polarizer.

ET-83D Lens Hood which allows easy access to your filters such as a Circular Polarizer.

As with all L-series lenses, the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L II USM is highly resistant to dust and water, with excellent durability in even harsh conditions, ideal for wildlife photographers even in rainforest environments, or sports photographers on the sideline grabbing action shots of the big game. Fluorine coating on the front and rear surfaces of the lens can repel dust particles and water droplets. It also makes smears and fingerprints easy to remove without the use of lens cleaning fluid. Included with the lens is the new ET-83D lens hood, that features a cleverly placed and convenient side window allowing the user to easily adjust specialty filters while the lens hood remains in place. In addition, the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L II USM is equipped with a newly designed detachable tripod mount which can be removed to reduce weight during handheld operation.

NEW Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM. Canon USA Announces November 10, 2014.

NEW Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM. Canon USA November 10, 2014.

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Salute to our Veterans

Today, We honor those American Veterans and Fallen Soldiers who have served in the Armed Forces.

Viet Nam Memorial, Viet Nam Veterans private visits, War Memorial, Danbury, CT. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/ KymryGroup. All Rights Reserved.

Viet Nam Memorial, Viet Nam Veterans private visits, War Memorial, Danbury, CT. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/KymryGroup. All Rights Reserved.

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