Early in November 1772 - when he had a wife, a month-old child, and an unfinished house - Thomas Jefferson acquired a family pet. For five shillings he bought a mockingbird from one of the slaves of his father-in-law, John Wayles. It was the first in a procession of singing birds that would always be part of Jefferson's household.
On December 23, 2011, an informal Christmas Bird Count was conducted at Tufton Farm, in the fields surrounding the nursery of the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants. The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is a census of birds in the Western Hemisphere, performed annually in the early Northern-hemisphere winter by volunteer birdwatchers. The purpose is to provide population data for use in science, especially conservation biology, though many people participate for recreation.