- Associated Press - Monday, December 1, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - It’s almost time for the 115th annual Christmas Bird Count, the world’s longest-running citizen science survey.

Each year, the National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count mobilizes more than 70,000 volunteers in more than 2,400 locations.

Birders who want to join a count circle in New York state can sign up at the New York State Ornithological Association website (https://nybirds.org/ProjCBC.htm ).

This year, the count runs from Dec. 14 through Jan. 5.

The count adds to a comprehensive data set showing the fluctuation, range and movement of bird populations across the continent. Scientists use the data to better understand how birds and the environment are faring and what needs to be done to protect them.

Last year’s count documented the record flight of Snowy Owls in the East Coast and Great Lakes.

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