Fresh air and birding are on tap this Saturday at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, where the annual Christmas Bird Count will be conducted in the park's South Unit.
Volunteers wishing to take part should meet at the South Unit Visitor Center at 8 a.m. MST. Any participants arriving later in the day should stop by the visitor center for guidance.
The annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count, now in its 114th year, is the world’s longest-running citizen science event. Information gathered during the CBC helps scientists learn more about how birds are faring throughout North America.
“The bird count is a nationwide tradition for many people during the holiday season,” said Superintendent Valerie Naylor. “Everyone is welcome to participate. Beginners can learn from experienced birders and those keeping annual bird checklists can add onto them. This is a fun event, and we hope many people will join us to kick off the winter season in the park.”
The area to be covered encompasses a 7 ½-mile radius around Medora, North Dakota. Before going out into the field, observers will be assigned to teams and survey areas to drive and walk to record bird sightings. This will be the 36th year for the Medora Area Count. A total of 67 species have been sighted during the Medora Counts, including many that can only be found here in the winter.
Birders should bring their own binoculars, field guides, and warm clothing. Hot drinks will be provided at the visitor center. The event is free.