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Wednesday, 06 December 2017 15:54

Count the birds

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Birders across the globe are gearing up to celebrate the season with the 118th annual Christmas Bird Count, and the Smokies region is no exception.

Each CBC circle is 15 miles in diameter, and participants are tasked with finding as many bird species in that area as possible during the single-day count. All counts are held between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5. Data gleaned from the yearly count goes into what is now a massive citizen science database.

Counts in Western North Carolina and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are:

Thursday, Dec. 14, near Franklin. Groups will begin at 8:30 a.m. and finish at 4 p.m., with the circle divided into five different zones and a group assigned to each one. Most groups will travel by car throughout the zone with some walking at specific locations. At the end of the day, counters will meet at a local restaurant to eat and tally results. Organized by the Franklin Bird Club. RSVP to Rita St. Claire, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Friday, Dec. 15, near Highlands. The group will meet at 7:30 a.m. and count until about 1 p.m. Organized by the Highlands Plateau Audubon Society. RSVP to Brock Hutchins, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 404.295.0663.

Sunday, Dec. 17, near Gatlinburg, Tennessee. About half of the circle is located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, with the rest outside the park on the Tennessee side. RSVP to coordinator Warren Bielenberg, 865.681.7884.

Friday, Jan. 5, near Waynesville. Sign up with Don Hendershot at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 828.646.0871

Saturday, Dec. 23, in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The circle includes the Cades Cove area and is 80 percent within the park. All available routes are hiking trails, with Cades Cove itself well covered. Sign up with Susan Hoyle, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

A map of all CBC circles is available at www.audubon.org/join-christmas-bird-count.

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