The 34th annual Twisp Audubon Christmas Bird Count is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 2.
Craig Olson has been involved in the Twisp bird count for more than a decade, and said the national event is more than 120 years old. This year, he’s the volunteer compiler of data collected.
“It’s a good indicator of status of birds in North America,” he said.
Other areas in north central Washington have their own bird count dates, but all of the Audubon counts are supposed to take place between Dec. 15 and Jan. 5.
The Twisp area includes 7.5 square miles divided into 12 portions, with the center being downtown Twisp.
This year, vaccinated participants will meet at the Cinnamon Twisp Bakery at 7 a.m. Jan. 2, where they can get breakfast if they want. A potluck dinner, featuring vegetarian chili, and a count tally is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at the Olsons’ residence, 96A Benson Creek Drive, Twisp.
“That’s later than we’d normally [start], for the people who like to sleep in,” he said.
Olson said past participants and both beginner and experienced birders are welcome. Participants should bring binoculars, lunch, warm clothes and field guides. Other optional items include skis, snowshoes and spotting scopes.
To participate in this year’s event, contact Olson at (760) 518-0364.
In past years, uncommon birds spotted include the red-breasted sapsucker, Virginia rail, northern hawk owl, rough-legged hawk, and mountain bluebird.
Results of the count vary each year, depending on weather and other conditions, Olson said.