LEWISTON — The Stanton Bird Club of Lewiston and Auburn will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 4, in room 285, USM Lewiston-Auburn College, 55 Westminster St. The subject will be “A History of the Stanton Bird Club’s Lewiston-Auburn Christmas Bird Count,” presented by longtime members, Tom Hayward and Stan DeOrsey.

Sponsored by the Stanton Bird Club for the past 37 years, the annual Christmas Bird Count is a part of a larger international event, begun in 1900, in order to count birds throughout North America. The first Lewiston count was in 1911, with others in the 1920s, 1940s and 1950s. Hayward, along with others, started it again in 1980 and it has been held every year since then.

The club will also host this year’s actual Christmas Bird Count on Saturday, Dec. 16. Starting at about 7 a.m. and continuing until about 4 p.m., the event will be held in a 15-mile diameter “count circle,” centered on the Bates College campus. The circle will be divided into three sectors each in Lewiston and Auburn.

In each sector, an assigned leader helps identify birds seen and records the findings. Most of the birding is done by driving between known locations, then jumping out of the car to locate birds and count them. Having more participants leads to more birds sighted and counted.

At the end of the day, the group meets to tally up the findings from the six sectors. The results are reported and correlated with the larger international project, which then publishes the findings.

Anyone interested in participating and who is unable to attend the meeting may contact Linda Seamans at [email protected] or leave a phone message or text at 207-240-1380.

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The meeting and Christmas Bird Count are free and open to all.

The Stanton group sights about 50 species on average, with the total number of birds seen last year numbering about 5,000. Several of the more common birds are seen in large numbers, but last year’s more surprising findings included the Merlin, Turkey Vulture, Eastern Bluebird, Red-bellied Woodpecker and a new high of 82 Horned Larks.

FMI: www.StantonBirdClub.org, tinyurl.com/zxakq6n.

Common Redpolls on a thistle feeder. Redpolls are normally found in the boreal forests of Canada. They are also found in northern Europe. However periodically they erupt and move south in large numbers and can be found at local backyard bird feeders. Photo by Dan Marquis


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