The Venice-Englewood Circle of the nationwide Christmas Bird Count is now scheduled for Sunday, December 17th. It is a long-time Venice Area Audubon tradition that involves about 100 volunteers each year and provides much-needed data on bird populations in Audubon’s largest citizen science program, now in its 124th year.
“We’ve had our challenges keeping things on track, with COVID two years ago and Hurricane Ian last year,” says Bob Clark, who has led the count the last ten years. “Fingers crossed this year for no distractions from pure birding!”
Even with the challenges, last year’s count involved 104 volunteers who together identified 130 species and a total of more than 19,000 birds. The count covers a 15 mile circumference circle that extends from downtown Venice on the north, 1-75 on the east and Manasota Key on the south
This year, in order to keep the tradition going and make it a successful count, we need your help:
Volunteers – Beginner, mid-level and expert birders are all welcome to help with the count, which involves going out in small teams to various locations during the morning of Sunday, December 17th. Some teams, or sub-groups of larger teams, continue birding in the afternoon in order to cover their areas. This year, for those for whom the morning count conflicts with Sunday services, a special team will be formed to bird just in the afternoon. NEW volunteers should email Bob Clark -- firstname.lastname@example.org – and please specify if you can volunteer in the morning or would just like to be included in the afternoon-only effort. Those who have volunteered in previous years should contact last year’s Area Leader.
Area Leaders – Our counting circle includes 15 different sections led by Area Leaders. The area leader need not be an expert birder, but needs to be willing to serve as a captain for a small group of volunteers and compile the results of the count for that area. We will need at least 3 new volunteers willing to step up to serve as Area Leaders. Please let Bob know of your interest.
Gated-community Volunteer Contacts – One of our big challenges is gaining access to gated communities. If you live in Sarasota National, Grand Paradiso or in a new, gated section of Wellen Park, in particular, we need help in gaining access to your community on count day. You don’t have to volunteer for the count, but if you live in a gated community and are willing to provide access to volunteers if needed, please email Bob with your name and the name of your community.
Sign up now!
Sarasota County Call Center: 941-861-5000 (General information and directions)
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