Christmas bird count

OK, count off, Donald, quack, Daffy, quack, Tweety, tweet, Woodstock, tweet, Road Runner, beep-beep, Foghorn, boy, I say boy.

The National Audubon Society recently announced the dates for the 120th annual Christmas Bird Count — December 14 through January 5.

The Christmas Bird Count is the longest-running wildlife survey in the world, employing tens of thousands of bird-loving volunteers to gather data on the number and type of bird species found during the peak of migration.

Individual counts take place in a 15-mile-wide circle and are led by a compiler responsible for organizing volunteers and submitting observations to Audubon. Within each circle, participants tally all birds seen or heard that day — not just the species, but total numbers to provide a clear idea of the health of that particular population.

Data from Christmas Bird Counts have been used in more than 200 peer-reviewed, scientific articles, including Audubon’s landmark, “Birds and Climate Change Report.”

There is no fee to participate and the quarterly report, “American Birds,” is available online. Counts are open to birders of all skill levels.

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