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Feather Your Nest

"Early in the 1900s, people were hunting birds and killing them to put them on top of women's hats," says Emily Hertz, of the Audubon Society of Greater Denver. While birds were hunted year 'round, it all culminated at Christmastime with a holiday bird hunt. To put an end to this bloody tradition and participate in something more humane and scientific, the Audubon Society championed an alternative: the holiday bird count. The local chapter will celebrate this long-honored tradition of counting, not killing, our flying friends today with a Christmas Bird Count & Holiday Party.

People of all ages will congregate from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Audubon Center, 11280 Waterton Road in Littleton, to count birds. Whether you're a newbie to the birding world or a seasoned professional, the Audubon Society has something to offer, including counting hikes, feeder counts, and classes to learn how to use binoculars. This citizen's science project is helpful, too: People participate all over the country, and the results help researchers study bird populations. "Anybody can do this," stresses Hertz. "That's why they call it a citizen's science project; you don't have to be an ornithologist."

Celebrate winged creatures of all sorts -- and the fact that we don't live in a society that puts dead animals on hats anymore -- by participating in the free bird count. For more information, visit or contact Emily Hertz at or 303-973-9530.
Sat., Dec. 17, 7 a.m.-2 p.m., 2011


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