Christmas bird count scheduled for Saturday

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WINHALL — Local birders and nature enthusiasts are invited to join the Winhall area annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count on Saturday, Dec. 14.

Participants may count from early morning to dusk covering many miles, or survey an hour or two in a small neighborhood area or just check on their feeder activity from their home.

The Winhall 15 mile-diameter count circle is centered 1 mile south of the four corners on Winhall Hollow Road, north of Gale Meadows. The west border is Manchester Depot, north just south of Weston village; east at the edge of Windham village and south almost to Jamaica.

It encompasses the villages of Peru, Landgrove, Londonderry, S. Londonderry, Bondville and Rawsonville as well as Stratton, Bromley and Magic Ski areas.

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Many counters are needed to cover this circle, and particularly important are counts from people living within this area who are feeding the birds.

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CBC counts began 120 years ago. The data collected by observers allow researchers, conservation biologists and other interested individuals to study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America.

When combined with other surveys such as the Breeding Bird Survey, it provides a picture of how the continent's bird populations have changed in time and space over the past hundred years. Newly released information notes that more than one in four birds have disappeared across North America in the past 50 years.

The Christmas Bird Count began when scientist Frank Chapman changed the course of ornithological history. In 1900, Chapman led a small group on an alternative to the "sight hunt," when teams competed to see who could shoot the most game. Instead, Chapman proposed they identify, count and record all the birds they saw, founding what is now considered to be the world's most significant citizen-based conservation effort.

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To help with the Winhall count, contact Ruth Stewart 802-362-1185 or stewdor7@comcast.net.

Details about the protocol, history, results and count areas can be found at Audubon's website: www.audubon.org/conservation/science/christmas-bird-count.

To help with the count in the Bennington area Dec. 28, contact Kevin Hemeon at kevinhemeon6@icloud.com.


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