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Mathews bird count Sunday

The Audubon Christmas Bird Count in Mathews will kick off in the early morning hours Sunday with birding enthusiasts scanning the skies, looking and listening for owls. Then, at dawn, 12 teams will scour the Mathews County countryside counting birds until dusk.

“All members of the count have been instructed to be courteous to landowners,” said count compiler Mark Sopko. “But don’t be surprised if you see a car or two parked along the roadside with folks that have binoculars scanning for birds.”

The annual Audubon-led census is one of the longest-running bird-monitoring projects in the world, according to the Audubon website. Its data helps researchers gauge how species will adapt to climate change and highlight shifting population trends in rare and common wildlife. Nationwide, some 50,000 bird enthusiasts are expected to take part in one or more of the events.

This is the first year with Sopko as compiler of the Mathews count, taking the reins from longtime compiler Joyce Mc...

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