A big thank you to Hannah Grover and the Daily Times for the informative article about area Christmas Bird Counts in the Dec. 13, issue of the paper. There is more to the story, which readers may find interesting. Christmas Bird Counts are sponsored by the National Audubon Society, which has a wealth of information online that includes decades of data from count circles as well as information about how to participate. If you feed the birds and your home is located within the boundaries of a CBC circle, you can report the birds that come to your feeder on count day as long as you have made prior arrangement with a circle's count compiler. If you prefer joining others to count, the CBC web site lists compilers by states and then counts, and compilers may be contacted via email or phone. If you are a beginning birder, you should be given an opportunity to join a group that includes at least one experienced birdwatcher. Because the designated Farmington count day this year fell on Saturday, Dec. 14, it is too late to participate (although it is still possible to ask to participate in later counts), but please keep the Farmington count in mind for next year.
Count circles are designated fifteen mile diameter circles; Lake Farmington dam east of the city is the center of Farmington's count circle. In addition to the Riverside Nature Center participation mentioned in Ms. Grover's article, various Four Corners Bird Club members planned to survey Farmington's Westland Park, Lake Farmington and surrounding habitat, the lower part of La Plata Canyon, inside Aztec city limits and nearby sites. In the past our count has had feeder reports from participants living north of the Bloomfield Highway. A quick look through the species data gave me an early date of 1946 for the Farmington circle!