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Audubon Christmas Bird Count returns to area

Both novice and experienced birdwatchers will descend on Mathews County and the Ware Neck area of Gloucester on Sunday for the 117th annual Christmas Bird Count hosted by the National Audubon Society.

The CBC is the longest-running citizen science survey, and with the count falling on a holiday this year, organizers are asking for more volunteers to help make the event successful.

Mathews resident Joyce McKelvey, who coordinates the local count each year, said, “This New Year’s Day event starts before dawn when a couple of sectors get out to listen for owls and woodcocks.” She said all participants will meet after the count at dusk to turn in their data, tally their results and enjoy warm soups and fresh green salads at the home of Michele Plotino at Cobbs Creek.

“Both this year’s and next year’s count, which falls on New Year’s Eve, are challenging because of their being holidays so sectors have fewer participants,” McKelvey said. &ld...

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