In partnership with the Point Reyes National Seashore Association and the National Park Service, the first Children’s Christmas Bird Count (CBC) took place in the park on Saturday, January 8th. This was a first-time event for any national park.
The brainchild of Tom Rusert and Darren Peterie, this event is now being conducted across the country and will continue to spread into other regions.
“Every year for over a century, Christmas Bird Counts have been organized across America through Audubon, mainly for adults, during mid-December and early January,” said Rusert. “Young kids with their families are often not included with this important 24 hour rigorous ‘citizen science’ effort, so we created the CBC 4 Kids and families. This is a stand-alone half day event instilling some of the important basic ingredients of this grand old Audubon tradition. The objective is to have fun and potentially create a hometown team of birders and conservationists for the future while encouraging families to enjoy and respect nature together.”
Over 75 children and parents took part in this event, with a total of 57 species of birds and a total of over 625 birds seen.
“The intent of this event was to have children, and their parents, take part in a fun yet educational moment in their local national park. It was a huge success,” said John Dell’Osso, the park’s chief of interpretation and resource education. “We need to affirm the critical role of the National Park Service in life-long learning and this event is a step in that direction.”