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Christmas Bird Count — work as a citizen scientist

The Weminuche Audubon Society is offering you another chance to get involved with its second annual Christmas Bird Count. The next Birding 101 training session will be on Nov. 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the South Conference Room of the Ross Aragon Community Center.

Are you asking yourself, “Why would I want to get involved?” Here’s why.

Fun. Ask any person who has participated in the past and they will tell you that the day is filled with camaraderie and laughter. It is not just an opportunity to spend time with friends, but also to get to know new people, to spend the day chasing a common goal, and later, to share a meal together while statistics are tallied and where everyone can revel in the joy of an important job well done.

Learning. Becky Gillette, Audubon Colorado’s southwest regional director, is a knowledgeable and patient teacher. She will show you, if you’re a beginner, the basics of spotting birds and what to look for as you are working toward an identification. And if you have some experience in birding, Becky will help you sharpen your skills. You may even be of help to someone else who has spent less time behind his/her binoculars than you have yours. Keep in mind that the learning is not just about identifying birds; the objectives of spending time and effort on CBC day are many-fold.

Contribute to a scientific project. First, repeatedly counting birds in the same place at the same time of year tells us what is happening to specific bird species. Are a species’ numbers growing? Declining? Do serious measures need to be taken in order to keep a species from becoming extinct? Second, the division of the National Audubon Society called Audubon Science uses the Christmas Bird Counts as the core of their efforts towards bird and habitat conservation while engaging people in the stewardship of birds and the environment. Third, the counts are used in conjunction with climate models to assess changes in North American habitats.

Come join in the fun; the CBC will take place Saturday, Dec 15.

Birding 101 training sessions are scheduled for Nov. 28, Dec. 5 and 12.  

For more information, contact Becky Gillette at rgillette@audubon.org or 883-3066.

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