Do you enjoy bird watching? Do you want to make a difference to bird conservation? Join the thousands of volunteers across America by taking part in the Christmas Bird Count.
Each citizen scientist that takes part makes an enormous contribution to conservation. The data collected is used by the National Audubon Society and other conservation organizations to access the health of bird populations and to help guide conservation action.
A new bird count loop is being established in the junction of O'Brien, Clay, Buena Vista and Cherokee counties. As a trial run, the count for this year falls just outside of the official Christmas Bird Count dates. However, volunteers will be making a big difference in setting baseline data.
In addition to counting species for the bird count, participants will also be taking part in the Midwinter Bald Eagle Survey, which takes place annually in January. This count helps contribute information to access the health of eagle populations in Iowa.
Want to join this exciting citizen science project? Participants are asked to meet at the Prairie Heritage Center near Sutherland at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 8.
The first group of birders will be breaking out into sections and survey until noon. A second birding group will depart from the center at 12:30 p.m. and return in the mid-afternoon.
You don't need to be a birding expert to take part in this project. Just bring along a pair of binoculars and plenty of enthusiasm. Car pools will be set up with an experienced birding guide to lead the way.
Make plans to join in for part of the day or bring a sack lunch and stay all day. For more information, contact the Prairie Heritage Center at 712-295-7200. Play a role in bird conservation in Iowa.
The Prairie Heritage Center is located four miles east of Sutherland.