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Four turtledoves, three French hens, and still counting

Every year since 1900, the National Audubon Society has conducted a Christmas Bird Count. It began as an early conservation effort, but has generated a database that casts light on how human activity has affected the environment over the course of this century.

This year's volunteer counters - more than 50,00 strong - hail from Central and South America, several Pacific islands (where North American bird species spend the winter), and every US state and Canadian province. About 1,700 groups will count and record every bird species encountered over the course of one day from Dec. 16 to Jan 3. Then compilers will enter their group's results at Bird Source:

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Anyone can participate by contacting a local Audubon Society. Chapters are listed at

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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