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Annual Christmas Bird Count takes flight


Just when you thought Christmas was over and done with, along comes the annual Christmas Bird Count, held this year on Saturday, Jan. 5.

Volunteers in the Portland area are asked to gather at 7 a.m. at 4153 S.E. Clinton St., a private home used as a staging area for those participating in the count. From there, bird counters will split into six groups and count in the following areas: Oaks Bottom, Westmoreland, Eastmoreland (Crystal Springs/Reed area), Springwater Corridor, Mount Tabor and Milwaukie.

There are one or two leaders per area. Once the teams are designated, bird counters carpool to the “hot spots” in each sector, counting all birds. 

Participants are asked to bring binoculars, appropriate “fowl-weather” gear, lunch or snacks and drinks. 

Oregon City resident Dan Strong will lead the Milwaukie counters, and offers a personal perspective on why the annual count is important.

“The CBC provides an opportunity to get outside and enjoy all the nature a city can offer. During a CBC, one can completely immerse themselves in nature, celebrating birds and wildlife. You never know what you may find. How cool is it seeing a flock of Tundra Swans majestically flying along a misty section of the Willamette River? 

“I find returning to the same CBC area year after year particularly rewarding.  It is fun to visit the same parks, wetland, feeders each count, with high hopes and expectations to observe what has been seen in past censuses. The familiarity of the count is special to me, however other CBC participants relish new experiences and count in different areas each year, perhaps visiting a region that offers a new cast of birds, habitats and climate.”

Finally, Strong noted, “participating in the CBC means you are contributing data to the longest-running, continuous wildlife census.  This is citizen science at its best. The data produced is highly valued to Audubon and other organizations, providing information on bird density, diversity and range.  It is a barometer for a healthy ecosystem.”

He recommends that interested people visit the following website to gain perspective about how important the annual bird count is: birds.audubon.org/how-christmas-bird-count-helps-birds.

Email Dan Strong at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..