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Bird count provides valuable info

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The Black Canyon Chapter of the Audubon Society (BACS) and the Bureau of Land Management are teaming up to conduct this year's Audubon Society annual Christmas Bird Count and are inviting anyone interested in bird watching to join them. This is the 116th anniversary of the count which has provided over a hundred years of valuable information throughout the world to help scientists monitor the health of bird populations.

"We are encouraging anyone interested, regardless of experience, to help us with the count," said Jon Horn, president of the BCAS. "It not only provides critical information on bird populations, but also is just a lot of fun."

Inexperienced birders will be teamed up with those with more experience to cover specific geographical areas. The counts often go into the afternoon so people are encouraged to dress warmly, bring binoculars, pack a lunch and bring plenty of water. The counts are usually not physically strenuous. Interested persons can call the persons listed below in advance to sign up and get more specific information.

Montrose -- Dec. 17; meet at 8:30 in the BLM conference room at 2465 S. Townsend; counters will reconvene at the Two Rascals Brewing Co. to compile the data. Contact: Missy Siders, 240-5332 or msiders@blm.gov.

Delta -- Dec. 31; meet at 8 a.m. at the City Market parking lot. Contact: Amy Seglund, 252-6014 or amy.seglund@state.co.us.

Gunnison -- Dec. 18; meet at 7:30 at Hurst Hall, Room 130 on the Western State Colorado University campus and reconvene at Arden Anderson's house to compile data and to enjoy a potluck. Contact: Arden Anderson, 641-5322 or kankan@frontier.net.

Hotchkiss -- Jan. 1; meet at 8 a.m. at the City Market parking lot. Contact: Jason Beason, 310-5117 or jason.beason@birdconservancy.org.

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