Sherburne Refuge Christmas bird counters need help!

Submitted Article
Sat., Dec. 21 a crew of volunteers will be surveying the roads and trails in and around the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, participating in the National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count.  
It’s an annual tradition that has been going on in North America for 113 years, with counts occurring during a period two weeks before or after Christmas.  The refuge count is sponsored by the Friends of Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge.  Participants in the refuge count come from as far away as the Twin Cities and St. Cloud.
The count area is a circle, 15 miles in diameter, with its center at Sherburne County Roads 9 and 5.  The northern portion of the circle extends just beyond State Hwy 95, the southern portion to Eagle Lake; Hwy 169 is the eastern edge and to the west, the circle’s edge is just past Santiago.
During a 24-hour period, birders will record every individual bird they see or hear within the count circle.   Friends and neighbors who live within the count area are encouraged to help out by cleaning and filling their feeders prior to count day.
Historically, the refuge counts average 43 species and close to 3,000 individual birds.  The most common birds found are usually European Starlings and Dark-eyed Juncos, but more rare or interesting species such as northern saw-whet owl, Townsend’s Solitaire and Pine Grosbeak have also been recorded.
Information gathered from the 30-plus volunteer counters is downloaded onto the National Audubon Society’s website, and also shared with the Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union. 
Nationwide more than 71,000 volunteer counters participate in over 2,300 counts.  
For more information, see http://birds.audubon. org/christmas-bird-count.  

photos


Kathleen R. Huber

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