The season for Christmas bird counts is at hand, and there are several opportunities for birdwatchers in the region to participate throughout the holiday season.
The Christmas Bird Count season officially begins Friday and continues through Jan. 5.
This year’s Christmas Bird Count will be the 113th annual. The National Audubon Society coordinates the program and uses the information to track long-term changes in bird populations. According to Audubon, the Christmas Bird Count is the longest-running citizen science survey in the world. It’s also an opportunity for tens of thousands of birdwatchers to get together and record the type and number of birds they see in their respective 15-mile count circles.
In Grand Forks, for example, the center of the count circle is on U.S. Highway 2 about a mile east of the airport and includes Kellys Slough and parts of the Red and Turtle rivers. This will be the 52nd year of the Grand Forks count, which is set for Sunday. Participants should meet at 7 a.m. at the Northside Cafe on Gateway Drive. For more information, contact Dave Lambeth of the Grand Cities Bird Club at (701) 772-4560 or by email at email@example.com.
Here’s a listing of other Christmas Bird Counts in the region:
Saturday: Crookston. Meet at 7 a.m. at RBJ’s Restaurant, 1601 University Ave.; count will start at 8 a.m. Info: Tom Feiro, (218) 281-5515 (home), (218) 521-0223 (cell) or (218) 281-8300 (work).
Saturday: Lake Bemidji State Park, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.. Bring your binoculars and field guides and meet at the Visitor Center. Info: John Fylpaa, (218) 308-2300.
Saturday: Warren, Minn. Count begins at 9 a.m. Maps and routes will be handed out at a pre-count meeting (time and location tba). Meet at noon at Melody’s Cafe in Warren. Tally rally 4 p.m., location tba. Info: Heidi Hughes, AgassizAudubon@gmail.com.
Tuesday: Icelandic State Park near Cavalier, N.D. Meet at 7:30 a.m. at park headquarters or at 12:30 p.m. at the Highway 32 Diner in Walhalla, N.D. Tally rally at 5 p.m. at park headquarters. Info: Mike Jacobs, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday: Bemidji. Meet at 7 a.m. at Minnesota Nice Cafe, 414 Beltrami Ave. NW. Tally Rally at 5:30 p.m., Brigid’s Cross Irish Pub, 317 Beltrami Ave., Bemidji. Info: Kelly Larson, email@example.com.
Sunday: 18th annual Itasca winter bird count, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Itasca State Park. Meet at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center at 8 a.m. for assignment of count areas. Dress warmly for outdoor winter conditions and bring lunch if staying for the entire day. Info: (218) 699-7259 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dec. 29: Roseau, Minn. Meet at 7 a.m. at the Roseau Diner. Info: Pat Roth, (218) 463-3070.
For more information on the Christmas Bird Count program, including results from previous counts, click here: