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Volunteers needed for Great Backyard Bird Count Feb. 15 – 18

Sparrow in winter

Want to be a part of an international effort to identify wild birds? Join the Parks Department and the Missouri Master Naturalists, Confluence Chapter, for the Great Backyard Bird Count February 15-18 in any St. Charles County Park!

Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, this program allows birdwatchers of all ages to help create a snap shot of where our feathered friends are located around the world.

Individuals, students, Scouts and other groups are invited to participate. Register online at http://bit.ly/2019GreatBackyardBirdCount and select a County park to visit. Count the birds in the park for at least 15 minutes on one or more days, estimate the number of each species spotted during the count period(s), and submit the data online by clicking “Submit Observations at gbbc.birdcount.org/. The free eBird Mobile app is also available to enter data.

The Great Backyard Bird Count was the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time. More than 160,000 people of all ages located around the world join the four-day count each February to create an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds.

By protecting and preserve native plants and wildlife species and maintaining natural settings, St. Charles County parks are havens for songbirds, waterfowl, raptors, and other birds. Some of the most common species found in County parks include the Great Blue Heron, Pileated Woodpecker, Northern Bobwhite Quail, Wild Turkey, White-Breasted Nuthatch, Black-Capped Chickadee, Northern Cardinal, Red-Tailed Hawk, and American Bald Eagle. A Northern Shrike, which is not commonly found in our area, also was spotted not too long ago at Broemmelsiek Park near Defiance.

The birding program is free, educational, and open to everyone. For more information, call the Parks Department at 636-949-7535.

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