Seneca Rocks Clarion Christmas bird count set Dec. 23

From staff reports

Members of Seneca Rocks Audubon, a local chapter of the National Audubon Society, are conducting their 37th annual Clarion Christmas bird count on Saturday, Dec. 23.

Area bird watchers are welcome to participate with advance arrangements.

This year marks the 124th year for the Christmas bird count for the National Audubon Society. It started on Christmas Day 1900 when conservationist Frank Chapman proposed a bird census instead of the traditional holiday hunting competition.

The Christmas bird count is now the nation’s longest-running community science bird project.

The Christmas bird count data is used by National Audubon and other conservation organizations to assess the status of bird populations and to help guide conservation action.

Locally, field watchers and feeder watchers count the number of birds and bird species within a prescribed “Clarion count circle.” The circle is 15 miles in diameter with its center located at the Interstate 80 bridge crossing the Clarion River near Clarion.

The circle includes the towns of Clarion, Sligo, Shippenville, Strattanville, Knox, Callensburg and the countryside in between.

Eight teams of field watchers count birds by car or foot in assigned sections.

Feeder watchers count the highest number of each species seen at a time at their backyard feeders.

Local bird watchers are welcome to join a field team or count at their backyard bird feeders. Contact Mal Hays at (814) 319-5955 or malhays54@gmail.com to join a field team.

To become a feeder watcher, people can contact Julia Stewart at juliaannstewart@yahoo.com.

More information about the count can be found at www.senecarocksaudubon.org or by emailing senecarocksaudubon@gmail.com.