For more than 13 years, Saipan has been a part of the Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count, a long running winter tradition.
Each year from approximately mid-December through the first week in January, birders and volunteers across the western hemisphere participate in this daylong event. As a result, the 2011 count shattered all previous records. A total of 2,248 individual counts and 63,223 people tallied over 60 million birds. Counts took place in all 50 states and all Canadian provinces, and 99 CBC count circles were tallied in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Islands.
The volunteer-generated data that are a result of this event have become an important part of the U.S. Government's Natural History Monitoring Database. The CBC is a great opportunity for bird enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels to make a significant and useful contribution to science.
So come take part in this fun, daylong event! Simply meet us by 6am on Dec. 18 at the American Memorial Park parking lot with water, snacks or food, paper, pencils or pens, and binoculars and field guide if you have them (it's OK if you don't own either-come anyway). As you'll take part in both roadside and walking surveys, please come appropriately attired. And, good news this year; a $5 participation fee is no longer required. As a result, the annual Christmas Bird Count publication, American Birds, will now be published online.
Paul Radley of the CNMI Division of Fish and Wildlife will be leading and organizing the count. If you have any questions or are interested in taking part in the counts on Tinian (Dec. 16, 2012) or Rota (yet to be determined), call or e-mail Paul at 664-6011 or firstname.lastname@example.org.