This holiday tradition is for the birds


There were no reports of partridges in pear trees, but more than 100 species of birds were observed last Saturday during Forest Grove's annual Christmas Bird Counts.

Fifteen people in nine birding parties conducted the count, which started in fog but ended with sunshine in most areas, according to Greg Gillson of Beaverton, one of the participants.

Their efforts yielded 104 species - about average, according to Gillson, an avid birder - in the 15-mile diameter circle centered near the community of Dilley, south of Forest Grove.

The circle includes Roy in the north, Bald Peak in the south, Jackson Bottom Wetlands in the east, and Henry Hagg Lake in the west.

The annual count is part of the Audubon Christmas Bird Counts , which have been conducted since 1900.

This year's count began Dec. 14 and will run through Jan. 5. It stretches from Antarctica to the Yukon Territory.

The Forest Grove count has been conducted since the early 1980s.

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