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Northern Flicker

By Karen Richards    Birds of a feather, get ready to count together

This is the time of year when bird-lovers help keep tabs on the number of feathered friends in their region.

It’s called the Christmas Bird Count, but each designated location for the yearly Audubon Society event chooses a date between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5.

Marcia Maffei is the Lane County Audubon Society’s home count coordinator. She said the Eugene area count is on Dec. 31. More than two dozen teams will meet in various locations, but if you’re not able to get out, you can count from home, and even stay indoors in your pajamas.

Maffei said spending all day paying attention to nature is rewarding.

“Even if you’re in the city it’s great, because you just are more in tune with your area and the community” she told KLCC, adding, “and birding with other people who bird is really fun, and showing new people what it’s all about is pretty exciting because they get all excited about it.”

The Audubon Society collects the data and records trends over time. This is the 124th national bird count, and the 82nd Lane County event.

If you want to count from home, Maffei said you’ll need to register. Lane County Audubon’s website has details.

The Audubon Society designates 15-mile diameter circles across the country from which to gather data. In our area, some counts have happened already, such as in Bend and Florence on December 16. Their website has a tool with details for each circle. The following places have events coming up:

Dec. 19: Corvallis

Dec. 20: Sunriver

Dec. 23: Brownsville

Dec. 29: Oakridge

Dec. 30: Cottage Grove

Dec. 31: Lane County / Eugene