The Mountain Times

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Join the Audubon Society for the annual Christmas bird count

On Saturday, Dec. 29 bird lovers will gather in small groups to count birds in various sections of Rutland County. The purpose of the event is to have fun and to survey bird populations. The Christmas Bird Count phenomenon of data collection is both the longest running and most broadly based citizen science project in this country. Data already collected continues to drive legislation and policies that designate, protect and sustain birds in general and those in crisis in particular.

Over the 38 years that Rutland Audubon has done the count 98 species have been found. Last year 60 species were observed. New records continue to be set and last year was no exception with counts of 819 Canada Geese, one Eastern Screech-Owl, six Red-bellied Woodpecker, 136 American Robin and three Yellow-rumped Warblers. These observations were collected by 34 field observers and six feeder watchers.

An important tradition of most counts is the "countdown pot luck dinner," and the Rutland count is no exception. We will gather at the Proctor Free Library following the count at 6 p.m. Participants and spouses/family are asked to bring a hot dish, a salad or a desert. Beverages, flatware and utensils will be provided.

If you participated last year you will be contacted. If not please give Roy Pilcher a call at 775-3461. The more eyes looking, the more birds tallied, the end result is more fun!

There are various start times for the different watches being held throughout Rutland County. More information can be found at rutlandcountyaudubon.org/events/ or 775-3461.