Whidbey Audubon prepares to count birds December 19

Whidbey Audubon Society will conduct its 23rd annual Christmas Bird Count Saturday, Dec. 19.

Fifteen teams will attempt to count all the birds in a 15-mile diameter circle centered at Monroe Landing Road and Highway 20, covering an area from the north side of Ault Field to south of Admirals Cove.

Each team is assigned an area varying in size according to the terrain to be covered, and is led by an experienced birder.

This year marks the 110th Christmas Bird Count. Sponsored by the National Audubon Society, Christmas bird counts involve over 55,000 participants in more than 1,900 counts throughout the Western Hemisphere. Count results constitute the largest and longest term data bank of information on trends in bird populations.

Locally, the data on Penn Cove waterfowl has been especially valuable in establishing population history and trends. Each year’s count results are published

in a special edition of “American Birds” magazine and are also available on line.

The count will be held Dec. 19 rain or shine. Residents of Oak Harbor and Coupeville can expect to see participants in the area with binoculars and telescopes that day. Anyone is invited to participate and can ride along with an experienced team. Adequate outdoor clothing is required and binoculars would be helpful.

To sign up call Janet Hall at 331-3634, or e-mail as soon as possible.

Whidbey Audubon Society is dedicated to the protection of wildlife species and their habitats on Whidbey Island and surrounding waters. For a free copy of their monthly newsletter “Shorelines,” email, or send a postcard request to P.O. Box 1012, Oak Harbor WA 98277.

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