Help Count Birds for Science during the 124th Annual Christmas Bird Count



Credit Photo as: Tufted Titmouse. Photo: Michele Black/Great Backyard Bird Count

Fort Scott National Historic Site (park) and Marais Des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge (refuge) are setting up a trial run for a new Christmas Bird Count “Circle” with the National Audubon Society.

The park and refuge invite birdwatchers to participate in the longest running community science survey, the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC).

Saturday, December 16, birders and nature enthusiasts should meet at the park’s Visitor Center in Fort Scott at 7:30 and/or 10 am. No experience is necessary to participate in the count.


Counts will be led by Fort Scott National Historic Site Park Ranger Jessica Nielsen and US Fish and Wildlife Visitor Services Coordinator Nova Clarke.

“Currently, there is no data being collected for the Christmas Bird Count in Bourbon County,” said Jessica Nielsen. “To establish a new count location, the Audubon Society recommends holding a trial count. This event will serve as Fort Scott National Historic Site’s trial run, with staff hoping to establish an official count for 2025.”


This year, the Audubon Christmas Bird Count will mobilize nearly 80,000 volunteer bird counters in more than 2,600 locations across the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America.

The Audubon Christmas Bird Count utilizes the power of volunteers to track the health of bird populations at a scale that scientists could never accomplish alone.


When combined with other surveys such as the Breeding Bird Survey, Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count provides a picture of how the continent’s bird populations have changed in time and space over the past hundred years. The long-term perspective is vital for conservationists. It informs strategies to protect birds, and their habitat, and helps identify environmental issues with implications for people as well. Christmas Bird Count data have been used in more than 300 peer-reviewed articles.


Fort Scott National Historic Site’s, a unit of the National Park Service, exhibit areas and visitor center are open daily from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The park grounds are open daily from a half hour before sunrise until a half hour after sunset.




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