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Audubon Christmas Bird Count Under Way

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The Audubon Society is asking for volunteers to take part in its annual Christmas Bird Count. The information gathered by these citizen-scientists over the past 116 years has helps researchers determine how bird populations are faring across the country.

Erik Johnson is director of bird conservation for Audubon Louisiana. He says the Christmas Count got under way this week and runs through January 5.

“Somewhat ironically there isn’t a single count on Christmas Day," he said.

Johnson says seasoned bird watchers are taking part, but beginners are welcome. And they won’t have to recognize the 250 species of birds found in the Louisiana count.

“And even if you don’t know your birds you can be a bird spotter. You can point out birds that the people you’re with may not be seeing, and help count them count them up -- even if you don’t know what they’re called,” he said.

Besides – Audubon now has an app for that.

Volunteers can serve a few hours, or as long as they like. There are 27 count circles, each 15 miles in diameter. There are 5 in the greater New Orleans area -- including the city itself. Volunteers will divide up into teams and cover different parts of each circle on a specific day. The New Orleans count will be December 26.

Details for signing up and what’s expected are available here.  

Eileen is a news reporter and producer for WWNO. She researches, reports and produces the local daily news items. Eileen relocated to New Orleans in 2008 after working as a writer and producer with the Associated Press in Washington, D.C. for seven years.

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