Volunteers invited to count birds this Saturday
By Doug Lowe
Utah residents will have two opportunities, in different parts of the state, to take part in the 120th Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count on Saturday, Dec. 14.
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) is partnering with other organizations and units of government to sponsor events where interested citizens—with or without any birding experience—can play a part in counting local bird populations.
In the Vernal area, DWR and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be hosting the 15th local bird count at the Ouray National Wildlife Refuge, located at 9001 E. Wildlife Refuge Road, in Randlett, Uintah County, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In the Moab area, DWR is cooperating with the Moab Bird Club a co-sponsor of a morning bird count event, from 8 a.m. to noon. Each of the bird counting events will take place within an established 15-mile wide diameter circle, with volunteers being given specific routes to drive or hike as they count every bird seen or heard along the way.
DWR’s regional conservation outreach manager, Tonya Kieffer-Selby, urges interested citizens to not let inexperience deter them from coming to participate. Novices will be paired with advanced birders who can assist with identifying whatever species they encounter.
Participants at either event should bring a pair of binoculars if they can, though DWR will also have some binoculars on site for volunteers to use. Participants attending the Randlett event should also bring a breakfast snack for the morning potluck. It will not be necessary for volunteers to stay the entire day, but those planning to do stay that long should pack a lunch and bring plenty of water. In all cases, participants should dress warmly.