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Christmas Bird Count 2018

On Saturday, December 15, 2018, despite being a very rainy and cloudy day, a strange phenomenon occurred in the Shenandoah Valley for the 43rd year in a row. Dedicated birders, both novice and professional, took to the roadsides by car, perused lakes and rivers by kayak or canoe, searched fields and woods on foot, or observed bird feeders from the comfort of their own homes, to count and document species, and numbers of those species of birds, observed. These birders were participating in the 119th National Audubon Christmas Bird Count, the nation's longest-running community science bird project. As dark fell on the day and birds could no longer be observed, birders flocked to the library at Blandy Experimental Farm to enjoy meeting new and old friends, discussing count stories and putting away some food.

Preliminary numbers for this year's count as reported by Mr. Larry Frey, compiler, are as follows: Number of participants: 52. Number of species on count day: 89. Number of species seen for count week: 90. Individual birds observed: 17,275.

At the time of this writing, numbers were still in the review process. However, you may access the data on the National Audubon Society's website after submission by following these directions: Go to: Under “Current Year” tab, select “Results by Count.” In “Select another year” box, choose “119;2018.” In “Country” box, select “United States.” In “State/Province” box, select “Virginia.” In “Count Code” box, enter “VANS” and then hit 'enter.' On the next screen, select the radio button to choose “Northern Shenandoah Valley.” The report will generate to include count date, species reported, weather, sponsor and participants. To select data from previous years, in the “Select another year” box, select the count number and year you wish to view (for the current year we are selecting 119; 2018, which means, it was the 119th count and it was held in year 2018).

If you are interested in participating with future Shenandoah Audubon Christmas Bird Counts or would like more information, please send e-mail to: We would love to have you join us!

By Kaycee Lichliter

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