December might be one of the coldest darkest months we’ve got, but don’t tell the chickadees and pine grosbeaks and redpolls that. They stick around anyway. And this is the month that citizen scientists everywhere are encouraged to help inventory they and their brethren.
The annual Christmas Bird Count is an organized continent-wide survey that documents every bird seen on a given day from sunrise to sunset. The count is an all-day event open to anyone wishing to participate, from novice bird-watchers to seasoned veterans.
Anchorage Audubon’s bird count is set for Saturday, Dec. 14. Home-feeders are needed, as well as those who can watch and listen for birds from assigned locations throughout town.
Eagle River-Chugiak’s count is set for Sunday, Dec. 29. That event is 9 a.m.-5 p.m., with a starting point at Jitters in Eagle River for location assignments.
Both events are set up to be social as well as scientifically significant. The University of Alaska Anchorage is hosting an after-the-count party and tally for the Anchorage count, and the Eagle River-Chugiak event will feature a potluck and tally at Jitters at the end of the day.