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Bird enthusiasts participate in annual Gorge Christmas Bird Count

Counts to be held in Lyle, Trout Lake, Goldendale and Hood River



Participate in the Christmas Bird Count where each count group completes a census of the birds found during one 24-hour period between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5 in a designated circle 15 miles in diameter, about 177 square miles.

The 2002 Christmas Bird Count counted about 73 million birds. Today, over 55,000 volunteers across North America, parts of Central and South America, Bermuda, the West Indies, and Pacific islands count and record many individual bird and bird species seen in over 2000 count circles.

In addition to its attraction as a social event, Christmas Bird Counts reveal valuable scientific data about the winter distributions of various birds.

It is vital in monitoring the status of resident and migratory birds across the western hemisphere. Count results from 1900 to the present are available through the website www.audubon.org/bird/cbc.

The Columbia Gorge is lucky in that it has four Christmas Bird Count (CBC) circles in its backyard.

-- Lyle on Dec. 14. Contact: Bob Hansen 365-2404 or bobhansen@gorge.net This includes High Prairie, Klickitat, Lyle, Wishram, The Dalles west to Mosier, Ore. Lyle CBC touts itself as having the highest CBC number of Lewis's woodpeckers and the only acorn woodpeckers in Washington.

--Trout Lake and Conboy National Wildlife Refuge on Dec. 20. Contact: Stuart Johnston 493-3363 between 6-9 p.m. or sflaurencej@planet-save.com. Trout Lake-Conboy CBC includes a variety of higher elevation open grasslands and forest.

Goldendale on Dec. 27. Contact: Stuart Johnston (same information as above). Towns include Goldendale, Biggs, John Day Dam, and Rufus, Ore. Goldendale is the CBC to do to see hawks and eagles.

--Hood River on Dec. 28. Contact: Catherine J. Flick. 493-1195 or stewart@gorge.net. Meet at the Best Western's Hood River Inn starting at 6:30 a.m. Towns include Dee, Hood River, Odell, Parkdale, Pine Grove, west of Mosier, Ore. and all areas inbetween. Hood River CBC takes in the Columbia River, oak woodlands, and high elevation forest.



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