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Backyard Bird Count February 15-18

LEWISTON - The Palouse Audubon Society, Canyon Birders and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology ask area bird watchers to participate in the 5th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count scheduled for February 15 through 18, 2002.

Rita Dixon, Idaho Department of Fish and Game nongame biologist in Lewiston says the bird surveys are fun and every birdwatcher's contribution is important. "The information backyard birders collect provides a better understanding of our wintering birds. It's also a fun event that requires as little as 15 minutes to tally birds in a backyard birdfeeder, outside an office window or on a leisurely hike."

According to Dixon, the data collected will be combined with Christmas Bird Count and Project FeederWatch data to give scientists an immense picture of winter bird populations nationwide. This information will help define bird ranges; populations, migration pathways and habitat needs, and will ultimately help with bird conservation.

Local birding groups have scheduled a field trip at Mann Lake, which is designated an Idaho Important Bird Area, for Saturday, February 16 beginning at 8 a.m. Interested participants are encouraged to meet at Mann Lake, approximately 3 miles southeast of Lewiston.

Report tallies can be obtained and reported on line at http://birdsource.cornell.edu/gbbc. Birdwatchers without computers can report their findings by contacting a Wild Birds Unlimited store at (800) 326-4928. Report forms and instructions can also be obtained at Idaho Fish and Game's Clearwater Region office located at 1540 Warner Avenue in Lewiston.