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Annual bird count chance for wildlife sightings, education

Dec 30, 2016

Common birds found in the Rocky Mountains, along with their bird songs, listed on the American Audubon website.

The National Audubon Society has been overseeing Christmas Bird Counts for 117 years - the longest running citizen science program in the world.

The local count begins Saturday morning at Hallam Lake, where Aspen Center for Environmental Studies’ bird guide Rebecca Weiss will lay out the parameters for the survey so that the Audubon can effectively use the data.

“Celebrity birders” like Al Levantin, a local resident whose story inspired the movie “The Big Year,” and Dick Filby participate each year. Aspen Snowmass ski patrollers also participate by sending in count numbers from the top of the mountains as they make their morning safety sweeps. Weiss said  it’s a nice holiday tradition to spend time outdoors with the family and is vital to the conservation and scientific communities. This time of year, birders can expect to see Kingfishers, dippers, woodpeckers and wintering ducks in their mating plumage.