|Bird count examined along Lower South Platte|
|Written by D. Bruce Bosley, Extension agent/cropping systems, Colorado State University Extension—Sterling|
|Wednesday, 05 February 2014 13:21|
The longest running Citizen Science survey in the world, Audubon’s annual Christmas Bird Count, celebrated its 115th year this year.
CBCs are held each year from Dec. 14-Jan. 5 across the United States and Canada as well as in several countries in this hemisphere. Two were held in the Lower South Platte valley this past December in Fort Morgan and Sterling. The Fort Morgan/Weldona Christmas Bird Count celebrated its 73rd year on Tuesday, Dec. 17, and it was the 13th year for the Sterling Count held on Wednesday, Dec. 18.
Volunteers covered specified areas within the designated 15-mile diameter circle of each of the Christmas Bird Counts. Some people also count the birds at home feeders on their count day. All birding volunteers count live birds they can see or identify by hearing at any time during the 24-hour count day. Consequently, some birders try to find owls before dawn or after the sun sets by listening for their calls.
Thirteen birders in six parties participated in the Weldona/Fort Morgan Count. These birders found 76 bird species and eight racial variants and a total of 25,438 individual birds. Participants were treated to a very balmy day (20-60 degrees Fahrenheit) with calm to very light breezes and sunny conditions.
The Sterling Christmas Count weather was even balmier, having high and low temperatures of 62 and 26 degrees respectively.
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