Be a citizen scientist and count some birds.
On Wednesday, Dec. 28, the National Park Service is inviting folks to be
part of the longest-running citizen-science survey in the world: Audubon’s
112th annual Christmas Bird Count.
Counts started around the country on Dec. 14 and run through Thursday, Jan.
Tens of thousands of participants, from beginner to expert, are helping to
provide critical data on bird population trends and having a lot of fun
doing it. “Each volunteer observer is an important contributor, helping to
shape the overall direction of bird conservation,” says Geoff LeBaron,
National Audubon's Christmas Bird Count Director.
Each count takes place within a “count circle” which focuses on a specific
geographic area. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is hosting the Indiana
Dunes National Lakeshore West Circle, and park rangers and experienced
volunteers will lead bird counts in the western sections of the park on Dec.
28. If you can’t come out to the park, but live in Burns Harbor, Portage,
South Haven or Ogden Dunes you can do the count from your own backyard bird
“The Christmas Bird Count becomes more important every year,” Audubon
President David Yarnold said. “The information gathered by its army of
dedicated volunteers leads directly to solutions. At a time when people
wonder if individual actions can make a difference, we know that our
volunteers enable scientists to learn about the impacts of environmental
threats like climate change and habitat loss. That’s good news not just for
birds but for all of us.”
To sign up for a National Lakeshore bird count or to learn how you can help
by counting the birds from your own backyard, contact park ranger Christy
Gerlach by e-mail at
or call the National Lakeshore’s information desk at (219) 395-1882.