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Contact: Eileen Andes, 7(01) 623-4466
Theodore Roosevelt National Park invites birding enthusiasts of all abilities to participate in the nationwide Audubon Christmas Bird Count on Saturday, December 16, 2017. The event is free.
The annual Audubon event, now in its 118th year, is the world’s longest running citizen science event. Data collected during the count is used to track trends and the general health of bird populations and is used to inform management decisions and scientific studies. National parks and other public lands play an important role in providing essential habitat for many bird species to winter, breed, and/or stop to rest while migrating.
Volunteer birders wishing to participate should meet at the South Unit Visitor Center at 8:00 a.m. MST. Before going out into the field, participants will be assigned to teams which will survey areas by driving and walking to record bird sightings. Participants arriving later in the day should stop by the visitor center for guidance and maps.
“You don’t have to be an expert to take part in the Christmas Bird Count,” said Chief of Interpretation Eileen Andes. “Beginners can team up with more experienced birders to learn birding basics and everyone can try to add to their life lists. Birding is a great outdoor family activity that people of all ages can enjoy for a lifetime.”
The area covered by the count encompasses a 7½ mile radius around Medora, North Dakota; this will be the 40th year for the Medora Area Count. Over 65 different species have been sighted during these counts, including many that can only be found in the area during the winter.
Birders should bring binoculars and field guides and should dress appropriately for the weather. Hot drinks will be offered at the visitor center.