Common Redpoll Credit: Dick Walker
Common Redpoll Credit: Dick Walker

As we roll into December, it is once again Christmas Bird Count time! This is the 116th year of the Audubon Christmas Bird Count. The Count as become a holiday tradition, as thousands of volunteers throughout the country become citizen scientists for a day. They venture out with binoculars, scopes, and field guides in seasonal weather and temperatures to count bird species in their area. This annual census enables Audubon, other organizations, and many research scientists to track changes in the size and location of our birds populations.

Here in the Flathead we are ushering in a new era, as Pete Fisher and Craig Hohenberger take the reins from Dan Casey as compilers of the Kalispell and Bigfork Christmas Bird Counts.

A joint presentation by Pete and Craig will be featured at the upcoming Flathead Audubon December meeting. They will combine summaries of population trends, some “virtual birding,” and a wide variety of photos, to help tell the story of early winter birds in the Flathead.

Craig and Pete will be signing people up for the Bigfork and Kalispell Counts after their presentation.

Please join us for the Flathead Audubon December meeting on Monday, December 14 at 7PM. We will meet in the United Way Conference Room at the Gateway Community Center, off US Highway West in Kalispell. Look for the Flathead Audubon green banner just outside the entry door.

Stay tuned to the Flathead Audubon site for more info on the Bigfork and Kalispell counts.