Central Oregon Coast Bird Count Needs Volunteers
(Newport, Oregon) – The holidays and birds aren't something you normally think of together, except maybe in a few Christmas carols. But the central Oregon coast has a little yearly event called the Christmas Bird Count, where volunteers are needed to help count the bird population of the Yaquina Bay area. (Photo above of a Cedar Waxwing, courtesy Ram Papish).
The Christmas Bird Count happens on January 5 this time around, and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is putting out the call for volunteers right now. Bird enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels, even beginners, are encouraged to participate in this free citizen science event. During the 114th Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count participants will count as many species and number of individual birds as they can within a 24 hour period.
This special birding event happens from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on that day.
It's considered the longest running Citizen Science survey in the world, with Christmas Bird Count data providing critical data on population trends.
“Tens of thousands of participants know that it is also a great way to meet new people, explore new habitat, learn more about our feathered friends or simply sharpen your birding skills,” said Dawn Harris who organizes and compiles the local count.
The Yaquina Bay count is within a 15 mile diameter circle that extends from Yaquina Head southward to Seal Rocks and eastward to Toledo. About half of the Count Circle is offshore. The count circle includes a variety of habitats attractive to birds including a national wildlife refuge, three state parks, two county parks and more. The local count is sponsored by the Yaquina Birders and Naturalists. During Yaquina Bay’s last count in December 2012, 41 birdwatchers in the field and at backyard feeders recorded 142 species of birds.
“Whether you want to be in the field or watch feeders from your window your participation is welcome” said Harris.
Contact Yaquina Bay Christmas Bird Count Compiler Dawn Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up or to get more information.
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