Birders of a feather, count together. Every year in December, the National Audubon Society invites enthusiasts of all things avian to participate in the Audubon Christmas Bird Count.
Today, the “nation’s longest-running community science bird project” gathers important data that the nonprofit uses to inform its wide-ranging conservation efforts; it first started in 1900 as an alternative to the Christmas Day side hunts, competitions that essentially declared open season on anything with wings.
Portland Audubon will organize a local event on Saturday, Dec. 30, with counts taking place across five areas: Columbia Riparian, Southeast Portland, Lake Oswego, Beaverton, and Northwest Hills/Forest Park.
You can join as either a “feeder watcher” to gather data at home, or a “field observer” to meet with an area leader on location. No training is required, although you will need binoculars and some knowledge of Pacific Northwest bird identification.