Bird observers brave the cold weather for national event

Bird observers brave the cold weather for national event

FREMONT, OH (WTOL) - The single digit temperatures on Wednesday weren't stopping some avid bird watchers from getting outside for hours at a time.

Since 1900, the Audubon Society has held the Christmas Bird Count to help gauge the various native bird populations of North America. Bird observation circles are established across the country and each circle is allotted an observation day

On Wednesday, a group from the Black Swamp Bird Observatory checked the Fremont circle with surrounding areas in Sandusky County.

Along with helping track bird populations, it's a great chance to view some rarer seen birds like Snowy Owls and Myrtle Warblers.

"The idea is it gives us a a way of monitoring what happens with the populations of these birds. And we're not going to count every bird that is our there, you know, but it's a sampling technique," said Kenn Kaufman, field editor for Audubon Magazine.

The Christmas bird count is considered to be the nation's longest-running community science bird project.

Rain or shine, and in spite of the temperature, Wednesday was the observation day. And that is why 14-year-old and recent birding enthusiast, Mitchell Sangregory, traveled from Bellevue and fought the single digit weather.

"Sure, maybe I'm crazy, but I am pretty much addicted to birds," said Mitchell, who said he's been birding for a little under two years.

The folks in this group know that the work they are doing is helping the greater understanding of the local bird species, and  that fighting the  cold is all part of the process.

"The wind chill was at about 14 below first thing this morning, but now the windchill is up to 0, so it's not bad at all," said Kaufman while laughing.

More information on the Audubon Christmas Bird Count can be found here.

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