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Backyard Bird Count February 16-19

Birdwatchers: Grab a pencil and paper, pour your coffee and observe the visitors at your bird feeder February 16 through 19, 2001. The National Audubon Society and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology ask every bird watcher across North America to participate in the 4th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count. Sponsor representatives say the results of this year's count are especially important - to determine the location of finches and other irruptive species, and to compare how this winter's weather has influenced movements of many passerine and waterfowl species. The count will also help establish long-term population trends for North American birds. 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 an immense picture of our wintering birds. It's a fun event that requires as little as 15 minutes to tally the birds in a backyard birdfeeder, outside an office window or on a leisurely hike." Tallies can be reported on line at http://birdsource.cornell.edu and then clicking on the Great American Bird Count icon. Birdwatchers without computers can report their findings by contacting a Wild Birds Unlimited store at (800) 326-4928.