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The Trailhead is located in Lake County, Florida. map

For more information, please contact info@scrubjaytrail.org
(352) 429-5566

Email photo contributions
of wildlife or plants seen
on the trail to this address: photos@scrubjaytrail.org



11th Annual Clermont Christmas Bird Count

JANUARY 2, 2023   -    ALL DAY EVENT

"Savannah Sparrow - January 2021 Clermont Christmas Bird Count"
photo: Susan Schmaltz

Devoted birders and novices converge on the Florida Scrub-Jay Trailhouse at 5:30 am for a light breakfast, and receive maps of their assigned territory, a section of a fifteen-mile circle surrounding Clermont.

After breakfast and briefings, the teams head out to their assigned territories to document their sightings. At the end of the day, all reconvene at the Florida Scrub-Jay Trail to report their sightings.

All levels of experience are accepted as we pair you with experienced birders. If you can see the birds and can count you are needed. The first Audubon Sanctioned Christmas Bird Count was in 1900. Today this annual event takes place all over the Western Hemisphere between December 14 and January 5.

If you canít participate in the official count, we encourage parents and children to go outside and experience nature, South Lake County style.

For more information or to register, contact John Thomton,
Founder and Organizer of the Clermont Christmas Bird Count, at  john.thomton@gmail.com

Audubon Christmas Bird Count
The nation's longest-running community science bird project
fuels Audubon's work throughout the year.

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About John Thomton

JohnThomton is all about the birds.

For the past 15 years John has been our Birder-In-Chief at The Florida Scrub-Jay Trail. He is very active in the restoration of the Florida Scrub-Jay Trail and is a prominent presenter of many birding workshops for beginners and advanced birders. John has spent several years compiling our Bird Checklist which consists of over 121 species.

For more information or to register, contact John Thomton, Founder and Organizer of the Clermont Christmas Bird Count, at  john.thomton@gmail.com

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History of the Christmas Bird Count

Prior to the turn of the 20th century, hunters engaged in a holiday tradition known as the Christmas "Side Hunt." They would choose sides and go afield with their guns—whoever brought in the biggest pile of feathered (and furred) quarry won.

Conservation was in its beginning stages in that era, and many observers and scientists were becoming concerned about declining bird populations. Beginning on Christmas Day 1900, ornithologist Frank M. Chapman, an early officer in the then-nascent Audubon Society, proposed a new holiday tradition—a "Christmas Bird Census" that would count birds during the holidays rather than hunt them.

So began the Christmas Bird Count. Thanks to the inspiration of Chapman and the enthusiasm of 27 dedicated birders, 25 Christmas Bird Counts were held that day. The locations ranged from Toronto, Ontario, to Pacific Grove, California, with most counts in or near the population centers of northeastern North America. Those original 27 Christmas Bird Counters tallied around 90 species on all the counts combined.

Today, From December 14 through January 5 each year, tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas brave snow, wind, or rain, and take part in the effort. Audubon and other organizations use data collected in this long-running wildlife census to assess the health of birdpopulations, and to help guide conservation action.

The Florida Scrub-Jay Trail

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