Local bird lovers will be getting together for an early breakfast on Thursday, December 28, and then scatter to all corners of the greater Bonners Ferry area to take part in the 118th annual Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count. In most count circles, some people also watch feeders instead of following routes.
Prior to the turn of the 20th century, hunters engaged in a holiday tradition known as the Christmas "Side Hunt".
A very helpful and necessary group of participants are the numerous private landowners and facility managers who allow entry to their large acreages to count birds, said Gray.
Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society, many volunteers find the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) comfortably close to home. The data they collect will record every individual bird and bird species seen within a specified area.
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Notably, President Donald Trump - who intends to withdraw the USA from the Paris agreement - was not invited to the meeting. At the moment, up to two percent of World Bank's $280 billion investments have been going toward oil and gas projects.
The information gathered at a site over a 24-hour period is summarized by scientists to gain insight into bird populations and patterns. This year, for instance, the Buckeye Lake count is being held this Saturday, Dec. 16, and the Lancaster count will be held in two weeks on Saturday, Dec. 30.
A year ago in Canada alone, 14,000 participants counted more than three million individual birds of 287 species, in 447 counts across the country.
"I would say we are still seeing a lot of habitat changes in some of the Tri-Cities, whether it's developments on Burke Mountain or intensification of agriculture south of Minnekhada farm and we know from experience these take their toll on wild species". It is important for anyone interested in participating to contact the count compiler to register.
Unable to join the Christmas Bird Count? More than 100 years ago, it was a Christmas tradition in some parts of North America to go outside and shoot as many birds as possible. According to Project SNOWstorm, a snowy owl organization that developed following the 2013 irruption, there was a thriving population of lemmings in the arctic tundra this year, followed by a strong breeding season for the owls.