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Audubon's Christmas Bird Count underway
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The public is invited to take part in the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC), which started Sunday and continues through the first week of January.
To participate in the count at the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, come to the Quivira Visitor Center in Stafford County at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 16.
To participate in the count at Cheyenne Bottoms, come to the Kansas Wetlands Education Center, 592 NE K-156, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 18.
Families, scientists, students and bird enthusiasts of all ages will take part in CBC’s across the U.S. in one of the best forms of citizen science, sponsors said. CBC’s are a great way for beginner bird watchers to learn from more experienced bird watchers. About 40 different CBC's are held annually across Kansas.
During the count, volunteers are put into small groups and conduct count circles where they count and record every bird they see on their assigned route. Results of these counts are used by scientists for assessing conservation efforts and tracking overall health and population numbers of bird species.
All are welcome to attend, but participation for at least half of the day is recommended. A lunch will be provided to Cheyenne Bottoms participants courtesy of the KWEC and The Nature Conservancy. Preregistration is suggested. Call the KWEC at 877-243-9268 for more information.
The Quivira Christmas Bird Count encompasses all of the Refuge, as well as some of the surrounding lands. The object is for birders to find and record all the birds within the count area during the day. Some groups will be out during pre-dawn hours to check for owls.  Anyone interested can participate, regardless of skill level.  Many people like to attend just to assist with looking, listening, or taking notes.
Those who would like to assist with owling prior to the meeting time should contact the Refuge, 620-486-2393