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Christmas Bird Count Near Icelandic State Park

The annual Christmas Bird Count will be held on Thursday, December 19th, 2019. Jay Wessel’s Game Management Area serves as the center of the count area, which forms a circle 15 miles in diameter. Walhalla marks the northern edge of the count area, which stretches west to Olga, south to Mountain, and east to Backoo. Volunteers are needed to survey portions of the area by vehicle. Participants will meet at the Pioneer Heritage Center, at Icelandic State Park, at 7:30 am. All of the counts for the day will be tallied back at the Pioneer Heritage Center at 5:00 pm. Others living in the count area are invited to participate by counting birds at their feeders on the same day. At home bird counts can be called in at (701) 265-4561, between 4:30 pm and 5:00 pm.

The Audubon Christmas Bird Count is the nation’s longest-running citizen science bird project. Ornithologist Frank M. Chapman started the Christmas bird count on Christmas day in 1900. Chapman wanted to create a new holiday tradition in which birds were counted, rather than hunted. That Christmas, 27 birders conducted 25 counts across North America. Today, tens of thousands of volunteers throughout America participate in the Christmas Bird Count, which is now held between December 14th and January 5th. The data collected each year is used by researchers, biologists, and wildlife agencies to study the long term health of bird populations and guide conservation efforts.

For more information, contact Icelandic State Park at (701) 265-4561. Icelandic State Park is located 5 ½ miles west of Cavalier, ND on State Highway 5.

The mission of the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department is to offer a diversity of recreation opportunities and sustainably manage resources.

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Josiah C. Cuellar was born in San Angelo, Texas, a small rural community in the western part of the state known for its farming, ranching and beautiful Concho River. A Texas A&M San Antonio graduate specializing in multi-media reporting, Cuellar is an award winning photographer and reporter whose work focuses on community news and sports.
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