Join the 119th annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count

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Boundary County is where we call home. It is that time of year to count another group that also calls it home. It is time to survey our feathered friends that live within a seven one-half mile radius of downtown Bonners Ferry. No matter the weather, volunteers will begin at the first light of the day. From the Chickadee at the feeder, the dipper in the creek to the red-tailed hawk soaring up above. Our goal is to get a count of the birds that winter in the greater Bonners Ferry area.

This is the 119th annual Christmas Bird Count sponsored by the Audubon Society and gives the chance for local birders (bird watchers) to be part of a world-wide citizen science program. This activity will provide an early winter snapshot of bird populations.

With the efforts of the Boundary County group, new species have been added to the winter list, along with a few that should have left but didn’t. We always have hundreds of crows, ravens, and Canada geese to count, along with the wild turkeys that eluded the fall hunt. As of just a few years ago, blue jays were an uncommon sight in the winter, now they are located regularly.

Count day for Bonners Ferry has been set for Thursday, Dec. 27. Those interested will meet at The Badger’s Den Restaurant for a no-host breakfast at 6 a.m. with the meeting beginning at 7 a.m. Guidelines will be discussed and those in attendance will break into groups for the count.

Each group will be led by an experienced birder, so new or amateur birders are welcome to join the process. More eyes and ears mean more birds can be counted.

This year, we would like those with bird feeders in their yards to take a larger part than in the past. If you live within the count area and have an active bird feeder in your yard, please contact us! You can either tally the birds that come to your feeder that day and provide us a count, or we can come count for you. Let us know. Bird feeders are an important, as a variety of species can feed in one place. You can always help by just putting out feed a few days beforehand and again that day. Fill those feeders!

A gathering will take place at the end of the day at Chic ‘n Chop to combine our counts and find out what the other groups have spotted. Did someone find a meadowlark or maybe a snow goose? How many crows did we find this year?

There is no cost to participate. We just ask that you come prepared for the weather, dress appropriately, bring snacks and drinks, and bring binoculars and a bird identification book if you have them.

Pre-registration is encouraged as this helps coordinators determine the number of groups and leaders needed. For more information or to pre-register email bfbirdcount@gmail.com or contact Roger at 208-818-0139.

Thank you for participating in this important event.

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