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KENAI: RefugeCounts 31 Species of Birds in 106th Annual Christmas Bird Count
10 Region, January 6, 2006
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Liz Jozwiak, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Biologist, participates in the 2005 annual Christmas Bird Count near Soldotna, Alaska.
Liz Jozwiak, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Biologist, participates in the 2005 annual Christmas Bird Count near Soldotna, Alaska. - Photo Credit: n/a

The results are in!  Twelve Kenai National Wildlife Refuge staff and volunteers participated in the 106th annual Christmas Bird Count and tallied 1,584 birds comprising 31 species.  Mild weather contributed to a higher than usual count of waterfowl.  Unusual birds seen included a red crossbill, a slaty-backed gull, and a crow with a deformed bill.  The first Christmas Bird Count was done on Christmas Day in 1900 as an alternative activity to an event called a "side hunt" where people chose sides and shot as many birds as they could; the group with the largest number of birds taken won the event.  Frank Chapman, a famed ornithologist, initiated the alternative event of counting rather than shooting birds and the event has now grown into an annual affair for more than 50,000 observers in all 50 states, Canada, some Pacific Islands, and South and Central America. The Kenai Christmas Count first started in 1983. The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge headquarters near Soldotna is the center of the 15-mile diameter survey area.  The counts have proven valuable not only as winter recreation, but as valuable long-term trend information that have helped managers address certain conservation concerns.


Contact Info: Kevin Painter, , kevin_painter@fws.gov



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