Audubon's 111th Annual Christmas Bird Count - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Audubon's 111th Annual Christmas Bird Count

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ROCHESTER (KTTC) -- Calling all backyard birdwatchers!  It's time for the National Audubon Society's 111th Annual Christmas Bird Count, featuring anyone wishing to document what's happening to our feathered friends across North America.

Its roots go way back to the turn of the century, in 1900, when an ornithologist named Frank Chapman persuaded a couple dozen of his friends to do something a little different -- instead of hunting birds over the holidays, to count them instead.  Chapman's inspiration has led to an annual tradition for both scientists and bird lovers alike.  And it sure has grown.

Last year, Audubon says 60,753 people tallied 2,319 species and 55,951,707 total birds. 

The information gathered goes to the U.S. Department of the Interior, which in recent years is keenly focused on the impact of climate change on birds.

Bird counts are being organized in many Minnesota cities, including Rochester, Winona, Austin, Red Wing and Owatonna.  To get involved, just go to the Audubon web site to learn more and perhaps sign up for a count being organized near you.  

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