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Audubon program to focus on Christmas bird count

By Staff | Oct 30, 2015

The Potomac Valley Audubon Society’s monthly program for November will feature a presentation entitled “History and Tales of the Christmas Bird Count.” The program will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11 at the Hospice of the Panhandle facility in Kearneysville.

Admission will be free and everyone is welcome to attend.

The speaker will be Jay Sheppard, who is retired from the Endangered Species Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He lives in Laurel, Maryland, and also worked in the Bird Banding Lab at the Patuxent Wildlife Center.

The Christmas Bird Count is a massive, citizen-science project that has been conducted throughout the western hemisphere every winter since 1900 under the auspices of the National Audubon Society.

The purpose is to monitor the status and distribution of early-winter bird populations.

The count is conducted entirely by volunteers, who spend a day every year around Christmastime recording all the birds they see within a designated area.

The data they collect are folded into what is now the longest-running database in ornithology, representing over 100 years of continuous information. This database is used to help spot trends in bird populations, which in turn can help identify shifts in environmental conditions.

Locally, two counts have been conducted in the Eastern Panhandle since the early 1950s: one in the Charles Town area, and another that is centered in Inwood.

The Hospice facility’s address is 330 Hospice Lane, Kearneysville. The Audubon events will be held in the main meeting room of the facility’s Main Office building.

There is plenty of parking at the facility.

For more information go to www.potomacaudubon.org or contact Krista Hawley at adultprograms@potomacaudubon.org or 703-303-1026.