Northern Wilds Magazine
Along the Shore

Audubon Christmas bird count

Grand MaraisVolunteers are needed for walking, driving and watching feeders for the 2015 annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC). The count will be held Saturday, December 19, for the Grand Marais area.

This is a 7.5-mile radius circle from a point three miles south of the middle of Devil Track Lake. The count circle covers Hwy 61 to Lindskog Road and north, some of County Road 60, Gunflint Trail to the landfill road, Pine Mountain Road to the backside of Elbow Lake, Devil Track Road to Bally Creek Road, Ball Club Road to The Grade, Pike Lake Road, Hwy 61 west to Cascade Lodge, and all of the lakeshore between Lindskog Road and Cascade Lodge.

Birders can cover as little or as much ground as they want and the CBC is open to bird watchers of all skill levels. Watchers need to be able to identify birds and count the highest number of a single species in an area.

There will also be a “count week” three days prior and three days after count day. Birders are asked to record the species of birds they see in the count circle during this time.

For count day, you will need a guide book, binoculars, a scope for lake birding, warm clothes, a log book to record your observations and a keen and quick eye to count the winter rarities. If you are a feeder watcher, keep you feeders full up and through count day to encourage birds to come and have various foods available in feeders and on the ground to entice as many species as possible.

Audubon’s National CBC efforts first began Christmas day, 1900. However, the first known Minnesota CBC’s were conducted on Christmas day, 1905, in Minneapolis and Red Wing. During the last 109 years, the CBC has been conducted uninterrupted in the state and has grown to include almost 70 census circles and involve more than 28,000 participants. Each and every year, more than 1,000 participants canvas the state to conduct the survey. These participants have logged nearly 77,000 total hours and traveled approximately 548,000 miles. The Minnesota CBC has tallied over 8.5 million birds of 201 species.

Contact Jeremy Ridlbauer at or call 370-0733 to report on what area you can cover. Participants who are able, will meet at 4:15 p.m. at The Blue Water Café on count day to compile results.

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