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Categorized | Outdoors

Ranger Steve’s Nature Niche

Kent County Christmas Bird Count

The Kent County Bird count will be January 2, 2010 and is hosted by the Grand Rapids Audubon Club, Michigan Audubon, National Audubon Society and area nature centers. The Post outlined the national program in last week’s paper and our local details follow.

Last year we saw 54 species of birds and 7,435 individuals on the Kent County effort. Each year provides new conditions and variations. We have been conducting the local bird count since the 1940’s. I became the count coordinator in 1987. It is a great joy to compile local records with people who share the joy of bird watching.

We will tbe out enjoying birds and countryside by 8 a.m. with friends and knowledgeable birders. Join us on Saturday, January 2, 2010 at Wittenbach/Wege Agri-science and Environmental Center in Lowell at 11715 Vergennes Rd. Gather at 7:30 a.m. and small groups will head out to areas within the count circle. Return around noon for a lunch prepared by Danford Richmond ($5) or brown bag a lunch. At 5 p.m. we gather to tally findings. You can participate part or all day.

Come dressed in layers for outdoor adventure. Bring binoculars and a bird field guide. If you do not have those, just come and others will share. We car pool and stop frequently to count birds in swamps, forests, fields, and streams.

The Howard Christensen, Blandford, and Wittenbach/Wege Centers are part of a Connecting Families with Nature Passport Program. The bird count is a way kids can get an entry on their passport. For passport program details go to: http://kentconservation.org/families/

Grand Rapids Audubon pays the adult $5 participation fee for club members as a membership benefit. People joining the club that day ($15) will also have their $5 fee paid by the club plus receive club benefits for a year. Otherwise non-members can just pay their own $5 participation fee. There is no charge for youth 18 and younger to participate.

Bird counts are fun and valuable for tracking bird locations and species abundances. It will be exciting to discover this year’s bird activity and we hope you will participate.

For questions or additional information on the bird count contact Ranger Steve at 616-696-1753 or at Odybrook@chartermi.net

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve at Odybrook@chartermi.net or the Cedar Springs Post, P.O. Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319

Ranger Steve (Mueller)

Ody Brook Enterprises

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