Dear Friend,

Audubon's citizen science initiatives drive important conservation work, and we couldn't do it without people like you. We're pleased to bring you our new citizen science email newsletter, American Birds. This newsletter replaces the print publication which was mailed just once per year with Christmas Bird Count results—helping us reduce environmental impact, cut costs, and deliver timely, interactive news about all our citizen science projects directly to your inbox.

Whether you are a Christmas Bird Count veteran or have just completed your first Great Backyard Bird Count, we are grateful for your contribution to Audubon bird science.

Thank you for your support,

Gary Langham
Chief Scientist
National Audubon Society

In this issue: GBBC and CBC photos, CBC regional summary map, the story behind Hummingbirds at Home and more.

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Audubon logo | American Birds
citizen science

Aug 2013

 

Current Project

Hummingbirds at Home: Through August 31

Get Involved

Welcome to the Apex of Bird Diversity

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The Andean Cock-of-the-rock. (Photo by bfick/Flickr Creative Commons)

The Eastern slope of the Andes just south of the Equator may be the most species-rich bird habitat on the planet.

Last year, participants in Ecuador's Yanayacu CBC circle spotted 493 species. That’s nearly the same as the entire bird diversity of the state of Florida, an area more than 350 times the size of the Yanayacu circle. Entering its ninth year and now attracting 148 participants, the circle is the epicenter of a local celebration of the region's natural bounty. Biologist and count compiler Caleb Gordon was present at the creation of the Yanayacu count circle. His story is truly inspiring. Read more→

 
Common Redpoll GBBC map

2013 GBBC counters recorded the irruption of Common Redpolls as this species was seen beyond its normal winter ranges. (Photo by Melissa Penta/GBBC)

Great Backyard Bird Count Circles the World

The first-ever international Great Backyard Bird Count is one for the record books. Watchers in 110 countries reported sightings of more than 4,000 bird species on all seven continents. While the GBBC has been active in the U.S. and Canada since 1998, this is the first global count. Counters in Mexico tallied the highest diversity of species—645 in all. U.S. counters were treated to big numbers as well—a winter finch irruption meant birds like Common Redpoll and Red Crossbill occurred in greater numbers and across more expansive ranges than normal.
Click here to geek out on a wealth of data→

Calliope Hummingbirds

The Calliope Hummingbird is one migrant that may be out of sync with its flowering food sources. (Photo by Dan Tracy/Audubon Magazine Photo Awards)

Hummingbirds at Home Audubon's Newest Citizen Science Venture

What hummingbirds lack in heft they make up for in ecological impact. Migrating hummingbirds are dependent on nectar to fuel their journeys and these nectar consumers are important pollinators for a range of flowering plants. However, climate change may be causing some flowers to bloom before the migrants arrive—which could put hummingbird populations at risk. Hummingbirds at Home will help assess the extent to which flowering cycles and hummingbird migration may or may not be falling out of sync. Read more about the science behind the project→ or Visit hummingbirdsathome.org→

Yanayacu CBC

States shaded green link to a completed CBC regional summary. Click a state or circle for a pop up with more info. (Photo by Esri)

Web Access to CBC Regional Summaries

Now, seasonal articles and regional summaries for the 113th Christmas Bird Count will be available in online form only. This new approach will help keep the CBC free and give citizen scientists more timely access to data. Still in development, you'll be the first to see our new CBC results map—click on a circle to see summary information for that count and region. Half of the regional summaries are available now, and we will post the rest as they are submitted. Look for enhancements as more data is added! Click to explore the CBC map→ or Look at the full list of regional summaries online→

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A cheery sight during dreary winters, the Northern Cardinal is frequently spotted across the United States during both the CBC and GBBC. (Photo by: Merv J. Cormier/GBBC)

A Gallery of Birds: Images from the Counts

The Christmas and Great Backyard Bird Counts generate a wealth of data that can help guide the future of bird conservation. Counters also come home with a cornucopia of bird photos that breathe life into the numbers. Relive some peak birding moments by touring the galleries from the 113th CBC and the 16th GBBC.
Click here for CBC photos→

and
Click here for GBBC photos→

Getting Started

Getting Started with…Hummingbirds!

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(Selasphorus sp. Hummingbird by Dennis Demcheck/GBBC)

It's always exciting to see a hummingbird visit your backyard feeder. Attracting these flighty little nectar eaters is easy if you follow some basic instructions for how to set up and maintain feeders. Hint: it's not about red food coloring. Read more→

Additional Resources

Simple and meaningful advice for keeping birds in your life.

Family bird adventures from day trips to expeditions.

Want to get started on birding? This free guide is a perfect start.

Don't just watch birds, help save them!

This is your newsletter—let us know which citizen science projects you participate in and which you're interested in learning more about. Take our one minute survey→

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