The North Texas Bird and Wildlife Club will host the Wichita Falls area Christmas Bird Count on December 19. This is the 110th CBC. I am not sure how long Wichita Falls has been participating. The counters are primarily members of the club, although we had a few Rolling Plains Texas Master Naturalists participate last year. You do not have to be an experienced or expert birder to take part. Extra eyes and someone to help keep up with recording the birds is very important on every team. However, if you want to improve your skills identifying birds in the field, this is a good way to do it. Every group will have one or more experienced birders in it.
During the CBC, birders canvass a 25-mile circle and count every bird they see. This information is then entered into the Audubon Society CBC database for use by researchers.
Participants pay $5 each to take part. This money is sent to Audubon to support the work of entering and maintaining the information.
We divide our 25-mile circle into three areas to make it easier to cover in one day. We start at sunrise and continue until mid-afternoon, then break up and meet for our traditonal potluck spaghetti dinner at a member's home to eat and compile the data from all three teams. Our compiler, Debra McKee, inputs the data for the group.
The three areas are:
Lucy Park: the park and much of the city. This is primarily a driving route.
Lake Wichita: The lake, a small area of the city, and the county surrounding the lake. Although there is a fair amount of driving, there is several miles of walking (along the dam and the hiking trails in Lake Wichita Park.)
Iowa Park: which comprises primarily the county between Wichita Falls and Iowa Park. It unfortunately skirts Lake Buffalo. This is primarily a driving route due to the large area to be covered, although there is some walking.
In addition, those who cannot (or don't wish to) get out, can participate by watching birds at their feeders and recording the numbers.
It is within the rules to include birds seen in the count week that may not have been counted during the count day for one reason or another. I am not sure what we are considering the count week yet.
If you would like to take part in the count, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Terry McKee at email@example.com. I will have the Lake Wichita team and Terry the Lucy Park team. I am not sure who will be overseeing the Iowa Park area yet.