Local birders are preparing to join others in the National Audubon Society for the third annual Eagle Valley Christmas Bird Count, set for Saturday. This year there is a focus on getting kids involved in birding, so feel free to bring youngsters.
Avid birders of all skill levels are invited for this count, which is done in the Eagle-Gypsum area. Meet at 8 a.m. at the Eagle Visitor Center parking lot, 100 Fairgrounds Rd., Eagle. Maps will be provided and assignments will be given at that time.
The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is a long-standing program of the National Audubon Society, with more than 100 years of citizen science involvement. It is an early-winter bird census, in which thousands of volunteers from across the U.S., Canada and many countries in the Western Hemisphere, count birds over a 24 hour period.
Each year the count takes place within the same "Count Circle," which focuses on a specific geographical area. If you are a beginning birder, you will be able to join a group that includes at least one experienced birdwatcher. In addition, if your home is within the boundaries of a Count Circle, you can stay home and report the birds that visit your feeder once you have arranged to do so with the Count Compiler. There is no fee to participate. Count volunteers follow specified routes through a designated 15-mile diameter circle, counting every bird they see or hear all day. It's not just a species tally-all birds are counted all day, giving an indication of the total number of birds in the circle that day.
According to the National Audubon Society: "The data collected by observers over the past century allow researchers, conservation biologists, and other interested individuals to study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America."
After the count, compilation of data and a potluck will be held at 2 p.m. at the Fedrizzi residence, 0265 Fulford Dr., Upper Kaibab subdivision, Eagle. Yummy soup and hot drinks will be provided. Potluck dishes happily welcomed.
Kindly RSVP to Jerry and Jan Fedrizzi at 970-328-6961 or firstname.lastname@example.org for potluck and compilation information.