UMBA invites anyone interested in helping with this year’s census to come to the December 9, 2019 chapter meeting, 7:00 PM in the FWP Regional Headquarters conference room (4600 Giant Springs Road). Participants will be assigned to one of 10 area teams with experienced team leaders. Some areas are primarily drive/stop. Other areas involve a lot of walking. Inexperienced birders can serve as the team scribe, help spot, take pictures or count while learning to identify the birds. The leader packets will be given out at the meeting. If you can’t get out for the day (or half-day) you can add to the data collected by counting the birds in your yard or at your feeder. Take 10 minutes to observe and count. Send your results to our compiler – Nora Gray by December 28th.

On count day – Saturday, December 21 – dress WARMLY, bring a thermos with a hot drink and a lunch, binoculars, a scope and a bird field guide (if you have them), AND a sense of adventure. Most teams begin their count around 8:00 AM and finish around 4:00 or 5:00 PM, depending on the weather and size of their count area. Check with your area team leader about where & when to meet Saturday morning. Some groups enjoy breakfast at Lippi’s restaurant on the west side of Great Falls before beginning their count day.

At 5:00 PM participants and other interested folks may join UMBA for the wrap-up session that includes pizza in the FWP Regional Headquarters conference room. This year we are asking everyone to bring a salad or dessert to share (something easy for you to make ahead). UMBA will provide the pizza and drinks (remember – no alcohol on FWP property). Each area leader reports the number of species and birds seen that day and then gives highlights of that area’s sightings. UMBA will pay for CBC participants’ dinners; nonparticipants will pay $7 each. Please let Nora Gray know if you’ll join us for pizza by Wednesday, December 18,; 781-4153. In case of inclement weather, the dinner will be canceled and the count will be held Sunday, December 22.

All questions regarding the Christmas Bird Count should be directed to Nora Gray, or 781-4153.

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