Christmas Bird Count set for Jan. 2

The longest running Citizen Scientist survey in the world, the Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC), will be performed by volunteers in the Carson Valley this year. The annual Christmas Bird Count uses thousands of volunteers located across the United States and Canada to determine bird species and populations for inclusion in the Audubon scientific data base. This year is the celebration of the 110th anniversary of the CBC.

The local CBC was a dream of Jack Walters who took the initial steps to establish the count area, a 15-mile-diameter circle, in which the survey is conducted. Walters, a local resident, was an expert birder who traveled throughout Nevada recording his observations of Nevada's birds. His observations were published in two volumes and are the base line for a lot of the data on Nevada birds.

"Jack's untimely death occurred prior to his realization of performing a Christmas Bird Count in Douglas County. This year's CBC is the legacy of his efforts on behalf of our birds," said local bird enthusiast Jim Woods.

The Audubon Society and Birding Under Nevada Skies are joining forces to perform the First Minden CBC survey on Jan. 2. This effort is totally conducted by volunteers from bird-watching groups and individuals from around the area.

Woods, a local birder is coordinating the effort and is recruiting volunteers for the survey. Birders of all levels of knowledge, from expert to beginners, are asked to join in for a fun day of finding, identifying and counting as many birds as possible in the Minden/Gardnerville area. As part of the survey, there will be a Feeder Watch for those not wanting to travel and a special owl search in the ranching areas.

Volunteers should have transportation or plans to carpool, binoculars, food and water for the day, some knowledge of the local birds and a desire to work on a scientific effort and have fun doing it.

There is a $5 fee to defray the costs of the national survey. For more information or to register, call Woods at 720-7009 or e-mail to or go to or


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