Come join the annual Denver Christmas Bird Count (CBC) at Chatfield State Park on Saturday, Dec. 15, from 7 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The 59th annual Denver count, sponsored by the Denver Field Ornithologists and the National Audubon Society, includes 24 official count areas, including four within Chatfield State Park. Joey Kellner, a Chatfield State Park Volunteer Naturalist and CBC organizer, will be one of the area leaders at Chatfield.

Birders, nature enthusiasts and outdoor lovers across the western hemisphere participate in the annual count, which started 113 years ago. On Christmas Day in 1900, scientist and writer Frank M. Chapman and 27 conservationists in 25 towns created the count as an alternative to the “side hunt,” which was a Christmas day activity where teams of hunters competed to shoot the most birds and small mammals. Chapman proposed that the teams instead identify, count and record all the birds they saw and founded what is now considered to be the world’s most significant citizen-based conservation effort.

Today, the CBC is vital in monitoring the status of resident and migratory birds across the western hemisphere. The information, all generated by volunteers, has become a crucial part of the federal government’s database for natural history monitoring.

The event is open to the public, including science students and youngsters. To participate in one of the four counts at Chatfield, please contact the area leaders to register and receive site specific information:

  • Plum Creek: Norm Erthal, 303-424-6747
  • Middle South Platte West: Randy Lentz, 303-680-3381
  • Middle South Platte East: Urling Kingery, 303-814-2723
  • Chatfield State Park: Joey Kellner, 303-978-1748

For information on the sites and count leaders outside of Chatfield, please visit:
http://dfobirders.org/documents/ChristmasCounts/59thAnnualDenverAreaCBC2012.pdf

There is no fee to participate in the Denver Christmas Bird Count, but all vehicles entering Chatfield State Park must have a daily or an annual Colorado State Parks pass.

After a day in the field, all participants are invited to attend the short compilation meeting to feast, warm up, chat with other birders, and find out how the count fared. The compilation meeting will be at the Carson Nature Center, Santa Fe and Mineral Ave. between the Light Rail parking and the Platte River at 5 p.m. Feel free to bring a dish or desert to share!

Image courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife

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