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Local birders ready for Audubon's Christmas Bird Count | Environment

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Local birders ready for Audubon's Christmas Bird Count
Environment, Events
Local birders ready for Audubon's Christmas Bird Count

New Port Richey, FL -- Pasco residents get ready to brave the cold in hopes of getting a glimpse of a very rare White-faced Ibis for this year's National Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count (CBC).

The West Pasco Audubon Society is one of hundreds of territorties participating in the 111th Annual CBC that allows volunteers to help in the early-winter bird census. Count volunteers follow specified routes in a designated 15-mile circle, counting every bird they see and hear in one day. West Pasco's one day count is tomorrow and the cold weather may be a factor in the tallies.

"We have averaged 164 species for the last 10 years," said Ken Tracey, West Pasco's count coordinator. "We hope to get that many this year, but the cold temperatures may affect the bird movements and may keep that number down."

This year Tracey expects 40 birders in the field, which is already less than usual. Previous years have had a turnout of usually 52 or more. Tracey says the cold temps may be a bigger influence on the birders as some may be less inclined to venture too far from their cars.

The White-faced Ibis, typically seen out West, has been spotted in the Trinity area before and if seen on the West Pasco Audubon Society's count it would be a first for the group's count and for most other counts in Florida.

The data collected by observers over the last century have allowed researchers, conservation biologists, and others to study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America.

National Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count FAQ

West Pasco Audubon Socitey

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