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News Releases

3rd annual Christmas Bird Count in county

- December 14, 2009

The third annual Christmas Bird County is slated here in Pocahontas County on December 29 at Barnett Cabins at Mill Point.  The group gathers at 6:00 a.m. and the event is never postponed due to inclement weather. Volunteers will break up into teams to canvas the area within a 15-mile diameter centered at Mill Point.  The Audubon Christmas Bird County is a holiday tradition among birders throughout North America with this being the 110th edition.

Volunteers will gather at Barnett Cabins at the intersection of Rt 219 and Rt 39/55 at 6:00 a.m.  Everyone is encouraged to attend the count from novices to experienced birders.  “We encourage new birders to come to this event,” said Pocahontas Nature Club President Sharon Kearns. “It is much easier to sight birds with the leaves of the trees plus there are experienced birders who can team up with new people so the event can be a real learning experience.”

Volunteers will break up into teams to survey the 15-mile diameter area centered at Mill Point.  Assignments will be made to teams to cover specific areas.  At noon, everyone will reconvene at the cabins to have a hot lunch, converse about unusual sightings and to ensure each team has traveled back and forth safely.

 Last year during the count, 15 White-winged Crossbills were sighted on the Highland Scenic Highway, a place not known to be a regularly haven for the rare bird.  Total number of birds counted in last year’s event was 1,672 of 52 different species. 
The first CBC was conducted in 1900 and was coordinated by ornithologist Frank Chapman in protest to an annual event knows as the “Side Hunt.”  The “Side Hunt” was a contest in which two teams competed to see who could shoot the most birds.  Chapman and others thought it would be better to hold an annual count instead of a shoot. 

If you would like to participate in the Pocahontas County Christmas Bird Count, contact Sharon Kearns of the Pocahontas Nature Club at 304-653-4777or Gail Hyer of the Pocahontas County Tourism office at 304-799-4636. 

Contact Name

Gail Hyer


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