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Christmas Bird Counts Scheduled For Moscow-Pullman and Lewiston-Clarkston Areas

LEWISTON - From novice birder to seasoned ornithologist, everyone is welcome to participate in the 104th annual Christmas Bird Count to be held December 20 in the Moscow-Pullman area and January 3, 2004, in the Lewiston-Clarkston area.

Sponsored by the National Audubon Society, the all-day count of early winter bird populations gives participants the opportunity to see wintering birds rarely seen by most people. Held annually, the Christmas Bird Count has also become one of the most popular birding events of the year.

"This is a great event for anyone interested in learning more about birds," said Joel Sauder, Idaho Department of Fish and Game Non-game Biologist and avid bird enthusiast.

The results are compiled into the longest running database in ornithology, which represents 100 years of unbroken data on trends of early winter bird populations across America. The data from 100 years of Christmas Bird Counts, yield valuable insights into the shifting patterns, distributions, and population trends of bird species during the count period, which is from mid-December to early January.

Novice birders can take advantage of the count by teaming up with experienced bird counters. All observers must do their counting within a designated area on the given count day.

Contacts for Christmas bird Counts in the Moscow-Pullman area are Tom Weber or Dave Holick at 509-334-3817 or 208-882-5556. For the Lewiston-Clarkston counts contact Charles Swift at 208-883-0553.

Anyone wishing to census birds at their feeder and does not live within a Christmas Bird Count circle, can still get involved with Project Feeder Watch. More information on both counts is available at www.birdsource.org and www.palouseaudubon.org.