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Christmas Bird Counts

Tips & Techniques


  1. It's the outdoors so the basics apply.
    • There are some areas that require boots. Bring sunscreen, mosquito repellent, hat, etc. Bring binoculars -- they will not be provided.
    • In a few cases you may have to bring drinks and maybe snack or even lunch.
    • Some areas require quite of bit of walking, others not so much, some very little or none.
  2. Patience helps. We're there to see and count birds and enjoy the outdoors.
  3. Contact someone to let them know you're coming and they can fill you in on any additional information that you need.  

How to Count Party Miles and Hours

How to Count Miles On Foot

Google Earth Method

Tip posted by Nick Block and Clay Taylor

If you have completed your Christmas Bird Count and are struggling with how to estimate your "Miles Walked" total, here's a great way to complete this information:

  • Go to Google Earth (it's a free download that takes only a few minutes, but is endlessly entertaining).
  • Find the satellite map of your CBC area.
  • At the toolbar atop the screen, Select the little "Ruler" Icon.
  • Select the Path setting and make sure that Mouse Navigation is selected if you are using a mouse.
  • Blow up the map enough to be able to see the area you walked, and click on your starting point.
  • Now simply click the mouse at points along your path, and it will read out the path length in the Ruler box atop the screen.
  • Draw a path for every time you left the car / walked a trail / biked / canoed / kayaked, etc. Depending on where you went, it might end up looking like one of those Family Circus cartoons of little Billy's route from Point A to Point B.

Compared to the mileage you might have guessed, I'll bet you will be amazed at how much farther you actually walked.

Pedometer / GPS

Tip posted by Susan Schaezler

Another solution is to use a pedometer, which is cheap, or a GPS wristwatch to track your whole trip.