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KWEC to host December bird counting events
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 The Kansas Wetlands Education Center will host two bird counting events this month for birders, from novices to experts, on Dec. 14 and 18.
The Quivira National Wildlife Refuge Christmas bird count starts at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 14, at the Quivira NWR headquarters, 1434 NE 80th St., Stafford.
This bird count encompasses all of the refuge as well as some surrounding land. 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.
To sign up to assist with owling, contact the refuge by calling 620-486-2393.
Anyone can participate regardless of skill level. Participants must meet at the Quivira Visitor Center. No cost is required but donations are welcome.
The annual Cheyenne Bottoms Christmas bird count will be at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18, at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center, 592 NE K-156, Great Bend. Participants will meet at the KWEC and divide into groups to cover designated areas of the count circle. Lunch will be provided.
For more information contact the KWEC, 1-877-243-9268.
Sponsors of the events note that Christmas bird counts have been going on in the United States for more than 100 years. It is the longest running citizen science program in the world. Scientists can use the information from Christmas bird counts to evaluate trends in bird populations or to document rare species that may show up in particular areas.