Audubon bird count flies under sunny, cool skies
Mother Nature gave the Audubon Society of Portland a belated Christmas present this year, offering sunny skies for the annual Portland Christmas Bird Count.
According to the nonprofit's website, the bird count is the longest running community science project in North America, helping track changes in bird populations since it was started in 1900, as an alternative to traditional holiday hunting expeditions.
The idea has spread from New York to become a continental effort, with birders across North America participating in one-day counts between Dec. 15 and Jan. 6. The Audubon Society of Portland says it conducted its first Christmas Bird Count in 1926. It claims that its 221 field observers and 128 feeder watchers found 118 species, last year, and its 349 participants made the Portland count the second largest in the nation.
In addition to the Portland count, roughly 50 other counts will be conducted in Oregon and Southwest Washington during the three weeks surrounding the holidays.