Dec 21, 2022 | By: Mary Balstad

Northwoods Adventure: Participants Flock Together for Annual Christmas Bird Count

As the old saying goes, birds of a feather flock together.

For those with the Mississippi Headwaters Audubon Society, this adage could not be truer, as more than 20 participants in the Bemidji area came together through a shared interest of taking part in the 123rd National Christmas Bird Count.

Using techniques such as pishing (imitating bird calls) and with gear like binoculars and telescopes, avid bird watchers covered a roughly seven-mile radius around Bemidji on Saturday to document the different bird species in the area.

While some people who participated have birded for many years, others were new to the activity. Regardless of the experience, all participants took to bird counting like a duck to water.

However, birding is not just a hobby. The data gathered throughout the bird counts can help larger organizations like the Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union to stay updated on bird populations and trends in certain parts of the state.

Even though the Christmas Bird Count takes place outside and across a seven-mile radius, anybody can join in. By having something as simple as a bird feeder outside, people can count how many birds come to visit from the warmth of their own home.

With the help of these bird counts, the National Audubon Society reports that the United States has lost one in four birds in the last 50 years. The next global bird count is the Great Backyard Bird Count, which takes place February 17-20.

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