Thursday, December 17, 2009

Volunteers wanted for Audubon Society's annual Christmas Bird Count in Zion National Park

The National Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count in Zion National Park will be held on Saturday, December19th. This is the 38th year Zion has participated in the birding event. The Audubon Society project is an effort to count as many birds as possible in different locations across the country in a 24 hour period.

This years Zion Christmas Bird Count will be focused in an area 15 miles in diameter (177 square miles) within the national park. The official count will be included in a special edition of American Birds Magazine.

Volunteers of all skill levels are encouraged to participate. This is great opportunity for wildlife enthusiasts to contribute to a national bird census that can have a real impact on bird conservation, according to the Audubon Society's website:

"Each of the citizen scientists who annually braves snow, wind, or rain, to take part in the Christmas Bird Count makes an enormous contribution to conservation. Audubon and other organizations use data collected in this longest-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations - and to help guide conservation action."

It's also a chance to rub shoulders with and learn from experienced and knowledgeable birders.

Last year, volunteers tallied more than 5,000 birds including 85 different species in Zion. 55,000 volunteers participated in the nationwide.

To volunteer or to find out more information about the bird count, contact Claire Crow at 435-772-0212 or claire_crow@nps.gov.

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