Date: 10/4/19 3:22 pm
From: Nate Dias (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Re: Listing and Christmas Counts
A valid question, Ann. See below and also do a Google search on
"christmas bird count data modeling" for further reading to answer
your question.

An example of how CBCs are valuable for conservation apart from
gathering data: land managers on at least three of the CBCs I
participate in (two of which I compile) regularly make management
decisions and enhancements based on CBC bird observations.

For example: Santee NWR management has used CBC field parties'
documentation and observations of certain conservation priority
species to help justify more resources and to compete for limited
resources like controlled burn crews at thee right time of year.
They are keen on maintaining the mature native grasslands and
freshwater wetlands to help these rare and declining birds.

This documentation and observation by birders is not normally possible
in seasonal closed-access areas. But on count day birders get special
permission and often use it effectively.

In terms of data quality: a case could be made for the CBC's raw data
being superior to eBird (though clearly smaller in volume). Note that
this raw data is not the final product used by researchers and
conservation decision-makers. Ultimately, I think eBird data is being
used more to produce better modeled data products, but that is not to
say the outputs from CBC data modeling are not useful and worthwhile.
For example, CBC data modeling was a big part of helping highlight
Rusty Blackbirds' steep decline, if I recall correctly. That got the
ball rolling on a lot of research and conservation attention.

Nathan Dias - Charleston, SC

On Fri, Oct 4, 2019 at 4:54 PM Ann Brice <carolinabirds...> wrote:
> I know some wanted to end the discussion about shaming listers and conservation, but I would like to bring up Christmas Counts. Do Christmas counts yield data that is valuable for conservation or not? I have noted that there are some "young guns" who take the time to chase rarities but who I don't see taking the time to participate in Christmas Counts. I know the Roanoke Rapids count is about to die for lack of participants and it needs a new compiler. Rocky Mount and Goldsboro could also use more help. It does take about an hours drive to get there from Raleigh but is the data collected not worth the energy and effort needed to collect it? If it is valuable data, then I would like to see more people brag about the Christmas counts they participated in rather than their various county, state, life totals.
> Ann Brice
> Wilson, NC
> I drove several hours in my gasoline car to participate in Rocky Mt, Roanoke Rapids, Goldsboro, Lake Mattamuskeet, Ocracoke, and Portsmouth Island counts last year.

"These days I prefer to hunt with a camera. A good photograph demands
more skill from the hunter, better nerves and more patience than the
rifle shot." -- Bror Blixen
Join us on Facebook!