The annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count will take place in Haines Dec. 28.
The count this year will be organized by the Ts’Ats’Ee Bird Observatory, part of the Takshanuk Watershed Council. Tim Shields previously served as organizer.
Lists of watch areas to which spotters can assign themselves, a map of count units and report forms can be downloaded from the watershed council website. For more information or to sign up, contact Randles at the Takshanuk Watershed Council or Alaska Backcountry Outfitter.
Randles said signing up in advance for areas is important, as it ensures all area are counted. “We’d like one person in charge of a particular unit. People can sign up for an area and then divide it up any way they want.”
Randles describes the count as “the largest and longest-running citizen science project in the world,” starting in 1900 with 27 observers at 25 locations in the U.S. and Canada. Now there are more than 63,000 counters in North and South America.
On the given day, observers identify and count the birds they see while taking a walk outside or sitting at their window watching their feeders. The resulting data is used by scientists to understand bird population trends in the Americas.
The council’s website is takshanuk.org. Look for Christmas bird count information under the heading “Report Observations.”