Annual Christmas Bird Count is Dec. 19

State Forest State Park will once again welcome birders from across the country and the world to participate in 115th National Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count, Dec. 19.

The tradition began over 100 years ago when a small group of wildlife watchers proposed an alternative to a ‘side hunt’ in which teams competed to see who could shoot the most birds and mammals. Led by scientist and writer Frank Chapman, his team of 27 people began to identify, count and record a variety of birds.

Today, the Christmas Bird Count is recognized as one of the most important, citizen-based conservation efforts in the world with several thousand people participating across the Americas.

“We appreciate every participants efforts in helping catalogue the variety of birds in North Park and across the Western Hemisphere,” said State Forest State Park Manager Joe Brand. “It should be a great time for everyone.”

The CBC has become vital in monitoring the status of resident and migratory birds. The data collected by the volunteers has become a crucial part of the U.S. Government’s natural history monitoring database.

This year’s count officially kicks-off on Dec. 14, running through Jan.15, 2015, but to participate in the count at State Forest State Park, arrive at the Moose Visitor Center, Dec. 19 at 8 a.m. Be prepared with a good pair of binoculars, a good reference book and appropriate clothing.

After a light breakfast provided by the park, small groups will head out for a fun day of counting birds. A warm meal will be available at the end of the day.

Who: State Forest State Park and the National Audubon Society
What: Annual Christmas Bird Count
When: December 19, 2014, 8:00 am
Where: State Forest State Park Moose Visitor Center, 56750 Highway 14 (1 mile east of Gould)

For more information about State Forest State Park, visit www.cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/Parks/stateforest.

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