WILLMAR -- Area birders and others who enjoy the outdoors are welcome to participate in the National Audubon Society's annual Christmas Bird Count in the Willmar area.
Local birders have set Saturday, Dec. 17 as the date for the 2011 count. Local birders have been conducting the Christmas count since 1962.
Participants want to start by 7:30 a.m. so please meet beforehand in science instructor Randy Frederickson's classroom 104 in the Willmar Middle School. The eastern-most of the two doors directly off the south parking lot (next to the tennis courts) will be open. Organizers will be on hand to distribute data sheets, provide updates, assign groups to quadrants, and finalize carpooling logistics.
If you cannot make the meeting but want to participate, please call one of the organizers listed below in advance. Remember to keep an eye on the weather forecast and dress appropriately as a part of your day may be spent outdoors.
Participants are welcome to stop at Dave and Ardys Lais' home for a warm beverage and a small treat from 9 to 11 a.m. They are located east of Sibley Park.
Everyone is also welcome to gather at 5 p.m. at Calvary Lutheran Church in Willmar for a supper. A meal will be provided and a free will donation taken to offset the cost. The supper is an opportunity for fellowship and to talk about the day's sightings.
Those unable to join the count outdoors but are willing to keep count at their bird feeders are encouraged to do so. Please email results to the organizers on the day of the count, and be careful not to double count birds.
Organizers and their contact information:
Joel Halbritter: home at 320-235-6358, mobile at 320-894-7751, or email a firstname.lastname@example.org
Joel Schmidt: home at 320-599-8068, or email at email@example.com.
Randy Frederickson: home at 320-235-1291, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other counts going on in the region are in Marshall on Dec. 17, Lac qui Parle on Dec. 15, Cottonwood on Dec. 16 and in Lamberton on Dec. 26. For information on those counts, contact Marshall coordinator Sue Morton at 507 423-5244.