South Sound Audubon chapters are looking for volunteers to help with the 117th annual Christmas Bird Count.
The local counts are part of the effort between Wednesday and Jan. 5 in the United States and Canada. Thousands of volunteers will head out to count the number of each species they see during this early winter census.
The data collected during the counts during the past 116 years allow Audubon researchers, conservation biologists, wildlife agencies and others to gauge the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America.
Here is a look at counts taking place in the South Sound:
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Tahoma Audubon: Volunteers will be out across Pierce County from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.
The Tacoma chapter conducts counts in eight locations, including Commencement Bay, North Tacoma, Gig Harbor-Fox Island and communities such as University Place and Lakewood, according to Faye McAdams Hands, Tahoma Audubon’s count coordinator.
After spending the day in the field, participants will meet to share dinner and stories of the day at the chapter’s Tally Dinner. It will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the Tacoma Nature Center, 1919 S. Tyler St., Tacoma. The meal costs $6 a person.
To sign up, you can contact an area coordinator (contact information available online), contact McAdams Hands at email@example.com or 360-275-0553, or go to the chapter’s count webpage.
Black Hills Audubon Society: The Olympia and Thurston County count will take place Dec. 18.
Volunteers can take part for the whole day or for just a portion of the day, said organizers Bill Shelmerdine.
After the count, participants will meet for chili at 5 p.m. at Temple Beth Hatfiloh, 201 Eighth Ave. SE, Olympia.
To participate, contact Shelmerdine at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-866-9106.
Kitsap Audubon: This chapter will hold its count Saturday. Learn more at kitsapaudubon.org.
Rainier Audubon: The South King County chapter will hold its count Dec. 26. Learn more at rainieraudubon.org.
Grays Harbor Audubon: This count on Dec. 29 will include Ocean Shores and Westport, plus the Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge. Learn more at ghas.org.
Vashon-Maury Island Audubon: This count is scheduled for Jan. 2. Learn more at vashonaudubon.org.
Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640
You can learn more about the overall effort at audubon.org.