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Christmas Bird Count Marks 104 Years

Christmas means many different things to different people, but for bird enthusiasts, it means it is time to check on the state of North America's birds in the 104th Audubon Christmas Bird Count.

Local volunteers around Idaho and the rest of the country organize the counts each year at roughly the same time and place. Observations are recorded and compared with the records of previous years in each area.

This year, the focus of the 104th count will be the status of birds of the Boreal Forest-the great northern forests extending from Alaska to northeastern Canada. Many of these species winter in areas well covered by the Christmas Bird Count, and are familiar to winter bird watchers across North America.

In southwest Idaho, the Boise count has been continued each year since 1966 while the Nampa count began in 1953 and a Bruneau count was organized in 1984. Counts from these areas and others in Idaho will be compiled for analysis by early 2004.