Austin Audubon having 32nd annual Christmas count

By Tim Ruzek

Post-Bulletin, Austin MN

Covering a wide circle around Austin, bird enthusiasts plan to conduct an annual count of the feathered fliers Sunday.

Austin Audubon members are having the 32nd annual Christmas Bird Count as part of many other bird censuses being conducted throughout North America since Friday through Jan. 5.

Each count is a census of all the birds found within a 15-mile diameter circle during a single day in the count period.


Austin’s census compiler, Terry Dorsey, decides how the count is performed and tabulates the results.

Participants, who count the birds and document rarities, are needed to canvas the area and count every bird they see. This can be done on foot, skis or horseback, in a car or by boat or snowmobile.

Other participants can watch feeders for the day. If you can’t dedicate an entire day, check with Dorsey to see if you might be able to help in other ways.

The Christmas Bird Count is the oldest continuous wildlife census in existence, a press release says. It has been performed without interruption for 107 seasons.

Last year 57,851 people participated in 2,052 census circles in the hemisphere. More than 69 million birds of 1,894 species were counted, according to the release.

In Minnesota, 73 count circles are active and more than 1,000 people will participate. Last year, Minnesota tallied 361,466 birds of 139 species. Locally, Austin Audubon had 46 species for 6,568 birds overall.

Albert Lea, Rochester and Owatonna also have counts during this period.

The data collected from the count is useful, providing researchers with a snapshot of bird population levels and distribution that can be used to trend changes to the population or changes to the range of the birds, the Audubon Society says.



To participate, contact census compiler Terry Dorsey at 433-4483. Feeder counters are needed, and participation is free. 

To learn more, go to

Audubon Christmas Counts

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