Calling all citizen scientists for the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count

The annual event helps the nonprofit monitor urban bird populations in Portland.

A blue and black Steller's jay, a bird with a pointy crest, sits on a shiny silver bird bath filled with snow with a peanut in its mouth.

Birders will document every species they find, like this peanut-obsessed Steller’s jay.

Photo by Frank Cone

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.

More from PDXtoday