Bird Counts

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 Refuge staff help to coordinate several public bird counts in the Dillingham area, including the National Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count and Great Backyard Bird Count.  


 Christmas Bird Count

Staff at the Togiak Refuge have coordinated Dillingham's Annual Christmas Bird Count since 1993. This is part of a coast-to-coast bird count where volunteers count every bird during a single day. Participants trek out on foot, skis, snowshoes, or snowmachine to search for birds during daylight hours. Birds are counted within a 15-mile diameter circle which includes Dillingham, Kanakanak, Wood River and parts of Warehouse Mountain. People can also count birds at their feeders or go owling before dawn. Local participation is key to the success of these counts.  

The Christmas Bird Count has a long history. It began in 1900, when 27 conservationists decided to count birds instead of shooting them as bad been the holiday tradition. Today, the National Audubon Society coordinates more than 1,800 Christmas Bird Count routes which are conducted in all 50 states, every Canadian province, South America and the Pacific Islands. In recent years more than 50,000 people have participated annually. More information about the Christmas Bird Count, including its history, objectives, and data, can be found on the Christmas Bird Count website.  

Great Backyard Bird Count

Staff at the Togiak Refuge have helped to coordinate Audubon’s annual Great Backyard Bird Count since 1999. This is part of a coast-to-coast bird count where volunteers count every bird during a four day timeframe. It count is sponsored by the National Audubon Society and was first started in 1998. This count provides an immense snapshot of the distribution and population status of birds that winter throughout the continent, and will add to a long-term database to detect broad scale changes in bird populations. This information will compliment the bird data collected during the Christmas Bird Count and the North American Migration Count. Local participation is key to the success of these counts. More information about the Great Backyard Bird Count, including instructions on how to count and results from previous counts, are found on the Great BackyardBird Count website.