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Ohioans Take Part in Audubon's Christmas Bird Count

photo of a barn owl
BRUCE LOMBARDO
/
NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY
Barn owls can be seen around Paint Creek State Park near Bainbridge.

Bird watchers all over Ohio are grabbing their binoculars for the 117th annual Christmas Bird Count, underway through Jan. 5th.

Every year, the National Audubon Society puts on the Christmas Bird Count, an official census of bird populations throughout the U.S. conducted by local organizers and volunteers.

One of those local organizers is Kurt Grenig.

“I actually started back when I was about 10 years old. And ironically, Christmas Bird Count was one of my first ventures out into it," Grenig said.

Now, Grenig oversees the bird count in southern Cuyahoga County.

“Usually, during the Christmas bird counts, we get to see more common birds. Eastern blue birds, American gold finches. This time of year American tree sparrows and dark-eyed juncos are pretty common.”

Lake Metroparks biologist John Pogacnik has been doing the Christmas Bird Count since the '80s. He says birding can be a gateway into learning about nature and the environment.

“We talk about climate change and all that. You can see that there are changes in bird numbers. Things are decreasing, things are increasing. It’s a great way to get population trends people could use,” said Pogacnik.

After the count is over, the data from each group will be collected and submitted to Audubon’s national database.