The annual Christmas bird count is back. (Photo submitted)

Golden bird count back for 32nd year

The holiday bird count is a long-standing tradition started by the late Ellen Zimmerman

Golden bird watchers are being encouraged to participate in this year’s annual Christmas Bird Count, which is scheduled to take place on Monday, Dec. 27.

On the day of, volunteer bird watchers will either monitor birds at a home feeder or follow assigned routes within that circle, counting every bird they see.

Volunteers can spend as long as they would like at their stations or their routes.

Bundle up and grab the binoculars to spend some time outdoors.

At the end of the day (24-hour period), you submit your list of species, numbers, and how long you spent watching to the compilers.

It’ll be the 32nd edition of the count, which provides long-term perspective that is vital for conservationists, according to the event organizers.

Golden joined the bird count through the efforts of the late Ellen Zimmerman and has since been participating in the Christmas Bird Count for 30 years.

This community science project provides a crucial snapshot of native bird populations during the winter months in the Golden area, and shows how the continent’s bird populations change over time. This long-term perspective is vital for conservationists.

The data collected helps inform strategies to protect birds and their habitat and helps identify environmental issues that can have implications for people as well.

The even is open to birders of all ages and skill levels. Beginners are encouraged.

Participants will need to sign up for a route, to ensure that there’s no overlap. For those who have participated before, you can request a route you are familiar with.

All of the routes are located within the Golden count circle.

In a normal year, organizers would form small groups so that those new to bird identification could join others with more experience and learn together. This year volunteers will have to stick with those already in your social bubble so we can all stay safe, for COVID safety.

Audubon’s free Bird Guide app is one of the many resources available to help with bird ID.

Volunteer compilers Joan Dolinsky and Annette Luttermann will coordinate the process in Golden. To sign up for the count in Golden, please contact Joan Dolinsky

You will be provided with a map, a simple field data sheet, and answers to all your questions.