Birmingham Audubon Fall Bird Count and Bird-a-thon
September 28, 7:00 am–8:00 pm
Since 1946, seasonal bird counts have been a central part of Birmingham Audubon’s work. This year, we’re continuing that tradition with four great counts, beginning with our fifty-fifth annual Fall Bird Count and Bird-a-thon. All participants in the count must RSVP for protocols and instructions by Friday, 20 September.
It’s our fall count with a competitive twist! As in previous years, we’ll spend the day in small groups surveying bird populations within our assigned areas at a wide variety of sites located in Jefferson, Shelby, and St. Clair counties. This year, we invite our members and the public to pledge a donation for the number of species seen that day. This can be ten cents or $10 per species, or anything in between! We generally average 110 to 115 species for a fall count, so a pledge of 10 cents per species would be a little over $11 and a pledge of $10 per species would be around $1,100, for example. Your pledges support our conservation efforts throughout Alabama.
Fall migrants, resident hawks, large waders, even common birds like Northern mockingbirds and American robins, are all fair game—each sighting contributes to a half-century-long dataset with important information on shifting ranges, the effects of urbanization, and climate-related population changes.
As always with our counts, we’ll meet up at the end of the day for refreshments, good conversation, and the evening “compilation,” the sometimes raucous process by which the day’s final bird list is assembled. (This is also your best opportunity to brag about all those unusual sightings you managed to get—so long as you bring proof of the really rare ones!)
Note: Because this is a coordinated scientific survey, we require all participants to register by Friday, 20 September. Please let us know if you’re new to bird counts, as we’ll need to send further instructions on how to participate, what to expect, &c. (Don’t be intimidated, though! We strongly encourage participation by new and inexperienced birders—nothing quite builds expertise like a day-long count in the company of a seasoned birder.)
Can’t join us in the field? Click here to learn more about how you can participate at your home feeder!
Make a pledge: To make a pledge to support our Fall Bird-a-thon, click the link at the top of the page that says “Pledge now!” Please submit your pledge by 28 September.
Compilation location: Elberta Reid will host the compilation at her home in Mountain Brook (2616 Mountain Brook Parkway). The compilation will begin around 6:30–6:45 p.m., with drinks and light snacks provided.
Count leaders: Greg Harber (cell: 205-807-8055; day of count only) will coordinate the count and compilation. This is a rain or shine event. If you have questions ahead of time, please email us.
More information: To learn more about how bird counts work, and to read the history of the one that started it all, check out National Audubon’s “History of the Christmas Bird Count” page.