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Local birders ready for Audubon's Christmas Bird Count

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.