For more than a century, National Audubon has relied on thousands of volunteers for its Christmas Bird Count. This year, counting will be on Saturday, in Warren, Pa., and on Sunday, in Jamestown, N.Y.
The goal is to document all of the species in an established 15-mile-wide diameter circle, and everyone interested is invited to participate. Audubon and other organizations use data collected in this longest-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations and to help guide conservation action.
Volunteers should bring binoculars, bird guides and checklists, and should be prepared to brave all kinds of weather.
Beginning birders can join a group that includes at least one experienced birdwatcher. If your home is within the boundaries of a Christmas Bird Count circle and you have made prior arrangement with the count compiler, you can stay at home and report the birds that visit your feeder on count day.
Until last year there was a $5 charge to participate, but the program is now free, supported by donations alone.
For more information, or to participate in Warren on Saturday, call Don Watts at (814) 730-9204.
For information, or to participate in the count in Jamestown on Sunday, send an e-mail to Bill Seleen at the Audubon Center & Sanctuary, at email@example.com.
To learn more about the Christmas Bird Count, visit the National Audubon website at http://birds.audubon.org/christmas-bird-count.
Information about the Audubon Center & Sanctuary at 1600 Riverside Road, Jamestown, N.Y., is available at http://jamestownaudubon.org or by calling (716) 569-2345.