Friday, December 13, 2013
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Joanne Stevens, left, and Marie Jordan take part in a past York County Christmas Bird Count at the Cliff House in Ogunquit.
MAINE BIRD COUNTS
Here is a list of upcoming Maine Bird Counts and their contacts:
Dec. 15 — Greater Portland, Bill Hancock, 657-3485; Pemaquid/Damariscotta, Dennis McKenna, 522-2891; Phippsburg/Georgetown, Don Hudson, 443-9795.
Dec. 17 — York County, Pat Moynihan, 284-5487.
Dec. 22 — Lewiston/Auburn, Stan DeOrsey, 933-2266; Thomaston-Rockland, Don Reimer, 273-3146.
Dec. 27 — Sweden (Bridgton Area), Jean Preis, email@example.com.
Dec. 29 — Freeport/Brunswick, Don Hudson, 443-9795, or Stella Walsh, 807-3679.
Dec. 30 — Biddeford/Kennebunkport, Marie Jordan, 799-1408.
Jan. 1, 2013 — Schoodic Point, William Townsend, 288-5654.
"We have nine viewing areas within our circle, eight of them including a small section of the coastline to view seabirds," said Jordan.
At the end of the day, the groups will gather at a central location to turn in their findings, share a meal and some stories about their adventures in birding.
Of course, the watches are not exclusive to daytime.
"These are 24-hour events and a few of our birders go out in the dark to do some pre-dawn owling," said Jordan. "Occasionally you'll see an owl but you don't have to see them to identify them. A good birder uses their ears as well as their eyes to identify the birds (by their call)."
"Cornell University's Lab of Ornithology has a great website (www.allaboutbirds.org/Page.aspx?pid=1189), offering an extensive list of bird (identification facts and audio samples of bird calls)," said Jordan.
All of the data collected by these "citizen scientists" is passed along to National Audubon, who forwards it to Cornell to be included on its website.
The feedback submitted includes detailed field reports, with photo identification, when possible, to help verify or confirm unusual or rare bird sightings.
"Last year we counted a total of 12,710 birds, and the year before that, nearly 16,000," said Jordan, who noted the annual tally has a lot to do with weather.
Interested participants should call to register and get on a team.
Those interested in participating in the Christmas count or learning more about the sport should go to www.NationalAudubon.org.
Staff Writer Deborah Sayer can be contacted at 791-6308 or at: