There will not be a December Audubon general membership meeting. On December 20th, members and guests will participate in
the Ellensburg circle, Christmas Bird Count. Kittitas Audubon will hold its 36th year of participating in the longest running citizen science
survey in the world, the Christmas Bird Count. The very first count occurred 115 years ago this December, with 25 people in 25 different
locations. It was begun as an alternative activity to over-harvesting wildlife. Egrets, herons, and seabirds were being heavily harvested for
their feathers, mostly to adorn women’s hats. Today more than 2300 circle counts come in from locations all over the world with more than
60,000 individuals participating. Critical data provided indicates species trends, ever more critical as the climate changes Data is showing that
some species are doing well , while others are struggling.
In Ellensburg, small teams of members, covering their assigned territory, attempt to count every bird in the 15 mile diameter designated
circle. At dark members gather for a potluck, where bird species and total counts are added up, and the information forwarded to Audubon
National headquarters for entering in the count totals.