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Whether you are a first-time birdwatcher or an experienced pro, your help is needed during the 119th annual National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count (CBC). This will be the 108th anniversary of the Indianapolis CBC, which was first held in December 1910.

Nationwide, more than 2,000 CBCs are conducted during the holiday season. National Audubon and other organizations use the data collected in this longest running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations and to help guide conservation actions. General information about the National Audubon Society and the Annual Christmas Bird Count can be found at www.audubon.org/conservation/join-christmas-bird-count

The Indianapolis CBC, sponsored by the ABAS, takes place within a 15-mile-diameter circle covering the northeast side of Indianapolis, with the center point being in Fort Harrison State Park.

If you are a beginning birder, you will be able to join a group that includes at least one experienced birdwatcher. In addition, if your home is within the boundaries of the Count Circle, you can stay home and report the birds that visit your bird feeders.

The most exciting news is that CBC is a free program! To participate, please register prior to December 12 so that birding teams and count plans can be made in advance of the count. Register to participate by calling John Schaust at (317) 208-4021 or emailing schaust@gmail.com.

Our birding teams will gather for lunch at a nearby restaurant to tally our morning count total. If needed teams may cover additional areas after lunch.