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News: Birds of a Feather


December 14, 2018

GCA members are joining the flock for the annual Christmas Bird Count!

Let the Count Begin!

The National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count begins December 14th and culminates January 5th, International Bird Day. Many Garden Club of America members are joining the flock.  

Nearly 77,000 individuals will take to the field or watch feeders as part of the world’s longest-running wildlife census (119 years), collecting invaluable data for research of bird populations and their habitats. Each individual count takes place within a 15-mile wide circle and is led by a compiler who organizes that count and reports the findings. Last year 59,242,067 birds were tallied representing 2,673 different species which accounts for about a quarter of the world’s known avifauna.

More information about the Christmas Bird Count can be found on the National Audubon website.

In 2017, The Garden Club of America and the National Audubon Society renewed a memorandum of understanding, first signed in 2015, providing for ongoing collaboration at the national and local levels. The agreement provides a framework for collaboration on mutually agreeable projects, including those concerning birds, pollinators and native plants. As part of this collaboration, GCA member clubs may serve as local resources for the Audubon Plants for Birds Program. Both parties are also working on the The Great Healthy Yard Project and pledge.

GCA clubs have a long tradition of efforts to improve, restore, and protect the habitats critical to bird populations. Recently, the Fauquier and Loudoun Garden Club (Middleburg VA) hosted a presentation on how to certify their properties as an Audubon at Home Wildlife Sanctuary. Audubon at Home is a program offered by Audubon in some states. Christine Smith, President of the Club recently had her property certified: “It’s a great way for gardeners to learn what it takes to improve and create habitats for birds by providing food, nesting materials and protection.” A birder herself, Smith has participated in the Christmas Bird Count for almost 20 years.


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