During this event, local teams will hike around various sections of Sitka in an attempt to count as many different birds they can find. There will be a planning meeting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 1, at the Alaska Raptor Center.
After the event, there will be a slide show to review the various birds seen in Sitka. There is a post-birding party at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Alaska Raptor Center, and snacks will be sponsored by Pet’s Choice Veterinary Hospital.
Sitka birders who want to practice for the Christmas Bird Count can participate in a free bird walk from 10-11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 27, at Sitka National Historical Park. There also will be a Yard Birds of Winter presentation by Sitka naturalist Matt Goff at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 28, at the Kettleson Memorial Library’s temporary home (the old Sheldon Jackson College Stratton Library building).
The Christmas Bird Count, which started nationally in 1900 with Alaska’s first event in 1941, involves thousands of bird-watchers, hikers, nature lovers and more each year. The count is for a 24-hour period and local events can take place from Dec. 14 to Jan. 5 this winter to still count. Last year the Alaska Audubon Society reported Alaska counters saw 139 species and 124,854 total birds, which was lower than usual.
For more information, contact Jen Cedarleaf at 738-0181 or Victoria Vosburg, DVM, at 738-8661.