December 20, 2010
Eileen Andes, 701-623-4466
The Annual Christmas Bird Count for the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park has been postponed until Monday, January 3, 2011. Volunteers wishing to join in the rescheduled event should meet at the North Unit Visitor Center at 9:00 a.m. CST.
“This is another great opportunity for people to count birds in the badlands this winter,” said Superintendent Valerie Naylor. “We hope to get a good turnout for the count, as public participation is essential for its success.”
The Medora Area Count took place on Sunday, December 19. Volunteers counted 873 birds representing 25 different species within a 7 ½-mile radius around Medora. Some of the most interesting birds recorded were common mergansers, bald and golden eagles, saw-whet owls, and northern shrikes.
“We had a beautiful day for the Medora Area Count,” said Naylor. “The added bonus was the opportunity to see elk, deer, bison, feral horses, bighorn sheep, and other wildlife in addition to birds. The day was a great success.”
The Christmas Bird Count, now in its 111th year, is the world’s longest-running citizen science event. Information gathered during the CBC helps scientists learn more about how birds are faring throughout North America. Observers work in teams to drive and walk designated areas to observe and record bird sightings.
Birders need to bring their own binoculars and warm clothing. Hot drinks will be provided at the visitor center. The event is free courtesy of the Theodore Roosevelt Nature and History Association, the park’s non-profit partner organization. For further information and weather conditions, contact the North Unit Visitor Center at 701-842-2333.