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Last Day to Get Your Bird Nerd On

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Today marks the official end of the Christmas Bird Count season, a time in which bird enthusiasts, aficionados and full-on bird geeks take daily nature walks armed with binoculars, bird guides and notepads to provide information for the longest-running wildlife census, all in the name of helping conservation.

The National Audubon Society and other organizations use the data collected to assess a range of topics and help researchers and conservation biologists study the long-term health of bird populations and how they have changed over time. The data aids in planning bird habitats and can raise flags about environmental threats such as groundwater contamination or human threats such as hunting.

From the Canadian Goose to the Cinnamon Teal to the Surf Scoter and the Bufflehead (yes, these really are bird species), today is the last day for Volunteer Citizen Scientists to head out to nature preserves with the official checklist in hand and add to the final tallies. You might not be an "official" Audubon volunteer, but it's also National Bird Day so there's no reason you can't hit the nearest hiking trail and get down with your bird self this afternoon to appreciate some species that may not be with us in years to come.

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