- Associated Press - Friday, December 16, 2016

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - The Audubon Society expects an annual bird count in California’s Bay Area to be the largest in the world.

KNTV-TV reports (https://bit.ly/2hDciwR ) that the Golden Gate Audubon Society says 270 volunteers, from novices to experts, have pre-registered for Oakland’s 76th annual Christmas Bird Count. The bird-lovers will look for shorebirds, raptors, water birds, and songbirds across the East Bay on Sunday

Last year’s event had 314 birders, more than any other local bird count in 2015. The volunteers spotted 96,287 individual birds of 179 species during the all-day event.

The data is used by scientists and policymakers to research population trends and protect at-risk species.

The holiday bird counting tradition was started by New Jersey conservationist Frank Chapman in 1900 as a humane alternative to a Christmas bird hunt.

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Information from: KNTV-TV.

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