Cowanesque Circle Christmas Bird Count On Saturday, Dec. 18
Photo by Sean Minnick
Pictured is a cardinal, which is among the birds that live in Tioga County year-round and, if seen, will be counted during the Christmas Bird Count.
The Tiadaghton Audubon Society, a group of local birders based in Wellsboro, is asking citizens to help with two Christmas Bird Counts this winter. The Cowanesque Circle bird count will be on Saturday, Dec. 18 and the Wellsboro-Mansfield Circle bird count on Friday, Jan. 1, 2022.
“We would like more people to get involved by counting the birds at their own feeders on their own properties either on Dec. 18 or Jan. 1,” said Sean Minnick, who is coordinating the two bird counts. “We would also like to know who is interested in taking part in person in either the Cowanesque Circle or Wellsboro-Mansfield Circle bird counts.”
The deadline for people to register to count birds on their own properties or to go on the road and count is no later than Monday, Dec. 13 for the Dec. 18 Cowanesque Circle Bird Count and by Monday, Dec. 27 for the Jan. 1 Wellsboro-Mansfield Circle Bird Count.
“If people living in either the Cowanesque or Wellsboro-Mansfield bird circle areas want to participate but don’t want to leave their homes, they can count the birds at the bird feeders in their own backyards,” said Minnick.
“If backyard birders call or email me, I can tell them how to do a count and whether they are in one of our circle areas and should send the data to us. If they live outside our circle areas, they will be referred to the appropriate place to report their bird data,” he said.
Those interested can sign up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling Minnick at (570) 948-9052. “Anyone interested is welcome to call me for more information.” Bird count volunteers will get their area assignments or confirmation of their participation from their own properties via email.
Both the Cowanesque and Wellsboro-Mansfield counts are performed in a “count circle” with a diameter of 15 miles. At least 10 volunteers are needed per circle. Each participant will count every bird they see as he/she/they follow their assigned routes.
The Cowanesque Circle is centered on Cowanesque Lake and has a radius of 7.5 miles, which covers the following areas: North – Pinnacle State Park in N.Y.; South – Ives Run Campground; West – Osceola; and East – East Lawrence Road and Woodford Road.
The Wellsboro-Mansfield Circle is centered on the intersection of Whitneyville and Charleston roads with a radius of 7.5 miles, covering the following areas: North – Ives Run Campground; South – Arnot and South Elk Road; West – Route 6 and Heise Run Road; and East – Mansfield University.
“We are looking for experienced birders to help with the circle counts,” said Sean Minnick. “Normally, we would pair a novice with an experienced birder but this year because of COVID-19 both counts are being done with no interaction between those doing the counting.”
People who have never participated before but are interested and comfortable with going out on their own are welcome to help,” Minnick said. “It might be fun for a family or people living in the same household to participate together.”
The Christmas Bird Census, a community science project is an important resource and tool for conservation.
It is not necessary to be a member of either the Tiadaghton or the National Audubon Society to participate in the Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count, which occurs across America between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5 every year. Tioga County, through the Tiadaghton Audubon Society, has been represented in the count every year since 1968.