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For the Birds: An Annual Christmas Count

You can volunteer to join the Audubon Society’s 114th Annual Christmas Bird Count that began Saturday and continues through Jan. 5.

Pennsylvania Game Commission officials want area wildlife enthusiasts to join volunteers across the country in the Audubon Society’s 114th Annual Christmas Bird Count, which began Saturday and continues through Jan. 5.

According to a posting on the commission's website, the Christmas Bird Count is the longest-running citizen-science survey in the world. The data collected allows researchers, conservation biologists and others to study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America.

Local counts occur on one day, from now through Jan. 5. Volunteers can pick a convenient circle, or participate in more than one count. Go here to find a circle.

Although there is a specific methodology to the count, everyone can participate. The count takes place within “count circles,” which focus on specific geographical areas. An experienced birdwatcher leads each circle.

You can even stay at home and report the birds that visit your backyard feeders, if you live within the boundaries of a count circle, according to the website. 

There is no fee to participate in the Christmas Bird Count.

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