Christmas Bird Count is Saturday

Christmas Bird Counts coming

Watchers sought for Saturday annual bird count

In Orange County, Sea and Sage Audubon heads up three Christmas Bird Counts, including coastal, inland and south coast and foothills.

They would choose sides and go afield with their guns-whoever brought in the biggest pile of feathered and furred quarry won.

"Additionally, if you're into photography, your skills could really come in handy, as photos are often important for confirming identification of rare or unusual birds, not to mention documenting nature's beauty and promoting CBCs, citizen science and birding/nature study in general".

Audubon's 118th Christmas Bird Count begins Thursday. Once the day is done, species viewed and count amounts are tallied by a volunteer compiler who plugs all the bird info into the Minnesota Bird Count website at http://moumn.org.

"We invite all interested people (new and experienced birders alike) to participate in this year's count", said coordinator Peter Blokker.

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"It's part of a huge count that takes place every year", Fox said. But ornithologists like Piper appreciate observations of common birds because those counts can reflect environmental impacts on breeding, migration and population trends.

This will be the 37th Orillia count and I have participated every year. Count circles, each 15 miles wide, can now be found from Barrow Alaska to the Brazilian Amazon.

If aggressive, dark to dusk birding in the heavy, wet cold of a Cape winter day is not your idea of fun, then you and I will have to agree to disagree.

The count focuses on the winter bird population, which is quite different from summer, as many birds leave this area for warmer climes and other species arrive from the far north.

And even though a lot of volunteers are indeed "hardcore birders", beginners are more than welcome. In most counting circles, some volunteers also watch feeders instead of following routes. To take part in the new Pelican Rapids bird count contact Matthew Mecklenburg at 218-498-2679 or mmecklenburg@tnc.org. In addition, about 200 snowy owls have already been observed in the Upper Midwest and Northeastern United States.

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