Christmas Bird Count
Iceland's first annual Christmas Bird Count was held in 1952. Today, the Icelandic Christmas Bird Count, inspired by and based on the American model, represents one of the country's longest-running monitoring programmes and the programme to encompass the greatest number of bird species. In 1952, counts were carried out at 11 locations. By 1958, bird counts were taking place at 44 spots across the country. The number of count locations was rather slow to increase in the 1960s, but has since risen to nearly 200.
The Christmas Bird Count was quick to catch on among Iceland's bird enthusiasts, and many of the original bird counters returned to their count locations year after year – some participated in the programme for many decades. The Christmas Bird Count has been volunteer-run from the outset. Counts take place on a holiday between Christmas and New Year's, often on Boxing Day.
The goal of the Christmas Bird Count is to collect data on the numbers and distribution of birds during the winter. Counts are standardised and can therefore be of use in monitoring individual bird populations.
IINH Contact: Kristinn Haukur Skarphéðinsson