If you've ever watched birds, you know how unique and interesting they can be. Whether you’ve just started bird-watching or you are an advanced “birder,” consider heading outdoors over the next few weeks to help gather important data about birds during the 123rd annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count. The Christmas Bird Count runs nationwide from Dec. 14 to Jan. 5, 2022. Each bird count takes place in an established 15-mile diameter circle, and volunteers will be given specific routes to drive and hike through the area, counting every bird they see or hear during the route. All birds will be counted all day, giving an indication of the total number of birds and species in the area. As part of the annual nationwide bird count, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is hosting a few counts throughout the state. Because some of the events require a specific level of experience with bird-watching, make sure you RSVP to the organizer of each count to coordinate in advance. The DWR is hosting a bird count in areas near Cedar City on Friday, Dec. 16. Contact DWR Wildlife Biologist Danielle Finlayson at 801-231-1911 or email to dfinlayson@utah.gov to RSVP and receive an assigned area to survey. Throughout the bird count, other areas of the region and state will be holding events for which you can volunteer. For example, on the same day the count in the Cedar City area is taking place, counts will also be happening in Kanab and at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The following day, December 17th counters will be active at Bryce Canyon and the Zion National Park areas. You can get an entire listing of bird counting events for 2022 by going to Utahbirds.org.

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