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Christmas bird count starts this week

Annual survey helps track population trends, potential threats

 red-tailed hawk

A red-tailed hawk perches on a snag in the Williams Fork Range in Summit County, Colorado. bberwyn photo.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Experienced birders and novices alike are invited to join in one of the longest-running citizen science surveys in the world — the 114th annual Christmas Bird Count, set this year for Dec. 14 through Jan. 5, 2014.

This year, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is hosting an event at the State Forest State Park, near Gould. The 71,000-acre park includes alpine lakes, forests and peaks along the west side of the Medicine Bow Mountains and into the north end of the Never Summer Range. Continue reading

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Biodiversity: Annual Christmas bird count under way

Cardinal.

Citizen science project helps track bird populations

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The annual Christmas bird count — the longest running citizen science project on record — is under way, and in early reports from Colorado, observers are seeing plenty of diversity but lower numbers than in some past years. To find out how to get involved in your area, visit this Audubon Society web page.

“We documented 127 species at Pueblo Reservoir, which is two short of the all time record.  The total number of birds, however, was down,” said Leon Bright, membership coordinator for the Arkansas Valley Audubon Society. Bright said the same trend was observed in the Wet Mountain Valley count near Westcliffe.  “The lower number of birds might be related to the drought conditions,” he said. Continue reading

Morning photo: for the birds

On the wing …

A pelican strikes a classic pose during a Florida sunset.

SUMMIT COUNTY — The annual Christmas bird count is under way, involving thousands of people in one of the largest citizen science projects in the country. Counting birds in the same areas during the same time from year to year helps establish good baseline information on bird populations. Read a bit more about it in this Summit Voice story, and browse through the bird snapshots in the daily photo essay. And if you want to see some really good bird photography, visit On The Wing Photography. Continue reading

Colorado Christmas bird count under way

Citizen science helps inform wildlife agencies. PHOTO BY BOB BERWYN.

Annual event helps track bird populations around the state

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado children are not the only ones looking forward to the holiday season. Birders across the state are gearing up for two of the high points of the birding year, the Christmas bird count and the mid-winter waterfowl survey.

Thousands of people across the Western Hemisphere participate in the annual Christmas bird count, a grassroots effort to tally bird species from Canada to South America that traces its origins back over 100 years. Colorado birders are no exception. From December 14 through January 5, volunteers will take to the field with binoculars and notebooks as they track bird populations around the state in one of the longest-running citizen science projects in United States history.

“The Christmas Bird Count is a great way for citizens interested in wildlife management to get involved,” said DOW Bird Conservation Coordinator David Klute. “It is one of the few widespread counts we’ve got that looks at wintering birds.” Continue reading

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