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Christmas Bird Count Begins Sunday

Steve Hager

Once again, Kelly McKay will spend the next three weeks outside, documenting the number of times he sees cardinals, crows, eagles, hawks, herons, sparrows, and other birds. The Christmas Bird Count will begin on Sunday in the Quad Cities. 

Credit Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News
Kelly McKay

McKay and Augustana College Biology Professor, Steve Hager, will coordinate seven local counts this year. But they rely on a lot of help from bird-watchers and others who like wildlife.
During last year's count, McKay says people recorded seeing a record number of birds from the semi-hardy species. They've been spending their winters farther north than they used to. But the "down side" is occasionally we get extreme weather.

McKay says he went back out to count birds in February, but couldn't find very many semi-hardy species. He fears thousands died because of the long, cold winter. And climate change can have negative effects.

If you'd like to help with this year's Christmas Bird Count, contact information for McKay and other coordinators is available on the Quad City Audubon Society's website. 

The count will start Sunday in the Quad Cities metro area, then continues in Clinton on Tuesday, and Princeton Thursday. Local bird counts will end on January 2nd in eastern Mercer County.   

Officially, Michelle's title is WVIK News Editor. She does everything there is to do in the newsroom and whatever may be needed around the radio station.