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Weminuche Audubon Christmas Bird Count

Audubon’s annual Christmas Bird Count runs through Jan. 5.

It is part of the oldest citizen science field survey in our country, with 110 consecutive counts every Christmas since 1900.

The Christmas bird count strives to count all birds seen in a 15-mile local circle, in one day.

Last year, 60,000 people counted birds in 2,160 circles in North America and over 51 million birds were identified. The count and the information gathered are used to understand bird populations and trends. These types of non-technical surveys done by people who love the outdoors and have a keen desire to help protect our wild places and creatures have made tremendous contributions to our understanding of the natural world.

Next Monday, Jan. 3, the local Weminuche Audubon will meet at Higher Grounds Coffee, at 8 a.m. to field survey the routes we have identified inside our 15-mile circle. This is a new program for our local Audubon and we need to first identify the routes we will follow to do our Christmas bird count.

This field trip is open and free to anyone who loves the outdoors. The day will be spent determining where to stop on each route to count local birds. While out there, we will tally the birds we see.

We have 14 routes. They include a walking route downtown, the subdivisions in the Pagosa Lakes, Meadows 3, North Piedra, U.S. 84, U.S. 160 east and west of town, Snowball Road and the Hershey Ranch.

Those who have bird feeders at home can count all the birds they see on Jan. 3 and we will include them in our list.

If you would like more information about this citizen project, contact Beverly Compton at 731-3471.

Learn more about the Christmas Bird Count at Audubon.org.

If you would like to be a part of our efforts to create our own Christmas count, please join us at Higher Grounds Monday, Jan. 3, 8 a.m. Bring binoculars, birding scope, watch, GPS, camera, bird identification book, clipboard, paper, pencil, warm clothes, orange vest (we will be counting birds along the roads in the area) and a thermos for something hot.

Join us for one of the world’s oldest and most influential citizen science programs — Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count.