Bird Count

Every year between December 14th and January 5th, tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas brave snow, wind, or rain to take part in the Christmas Bird Count (CBC). Audubon and other organizations use data collected in this long-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations, and to help guide conservation action. Ridgefield NWR has been a part of the “Sauvie Circle” since the 1960s. Our 15-mile diameter circle encompasses the Columbia River covering Sauvie Island and some of the Scappoose area on the Oregon side and west of I-5 from Vancouver Lake bottoms through the refuge and up to the Lewis River on the Washington side.

This year our count will be on December 23rd with a back up date on December 31st. Teams are assigned an area to survey, results are submitted to the compiler who puts it all together and submits the information to the National Audubon Society. Being part of the count can be as simple as counting at your own feeder if you are within the boundaries of the circle, surveying a park you like to visit for a couple of hours or spending all day in the field walking your territory. If you are new to the CBC, we can pair you with more experienced birders. There will be several teams on the refuge and adjacent areas who will be out that day. You will need binoculars, a good field guide or app, and likely good winter weather clothing and footwear. If being part of this big citizen science effort has appeal for you, check out the National Audubon website at https://www.audubon.org/conservation/science/christmas-bird-count. If you would like to participate this year, contact Susan Setterberg at smsetterberg@yahoo.com, preferable before December 7th, for more information.

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