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Massive Nationwide Bird Census Kicks off Next Week

posted: 12/07/15
by: Danny Clemens
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Instead of hunting for Christmas fowl, tens of thousands of bird enthusiasts will take to the streets next week to count our feathered friends as part of the Audubon Society's 116th annual Christmas Bird Count.

Described by its organizers as the country's longest-running citizen science project, the exhaustive census relies on 72,000 volunteers in the United States and Canada. Between December 14 and January 5, the massive ornithological army will split into 2,400 local groups, each one responsible for documenting every bird that they spot within a 15-mile radius.

Hooded Oriole
Linda Tanner/Flickr

Since its inception in 1900, the donation-supported program has continuously produced important population information that has made its way into hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific studies and proved integral in bird conservation efforts.

Related: Dazzling Rainbow Bird Spotted in Prospect Park

"This documentation is what enabled Audubon scientists to discover that 314 species of North American birds are threatened by global warming as reported in Audubon's groundbreaking Birds and Climate Change Study," Audubon says in a news release.

"The tradition of counting birds combined with modern technology and mapping is enabling researchers to make discoveries that were not possible in earlier decades."

Audubon is still actively recruiting volunteers to help execute this year's survey. Click here for more information.

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