BY PAUL GOLIAS
The annual Christmas Bird Count will be held this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rick Koval, of Dallas, organizer and official compiler for regional counts, said the emphasis this year is on back-yard feeders rather than groups taking to the field.
Area residents are invited to take part in the National Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count.
The 2020 count based in Dallas will take place Dec. 19 and the Tunkhannock-based count will be held Dec. 20.
Bird counters need not be expert birders.
For information on either count, contact Koval at 570-991-0580.
The Greater Wyoming Valley Audubon Society is part of the national non-profit environmental organization dedicated to conservation. Founded in 1905, Audubon is one of the oldest of such organizations.
The 2019 counts included the observation of an unprecedented 28 bald eagles in the Tunkhannock area.
Koval said the most notable species found during the Tunkhannock count were three yellow-rumped warblers, a northern saw-whet owl, two eastern towhees, a killdeer and the large number of bald eagles.
Bald eagle populations have grow in the commonwealth. The state stopped listing the eagle as threatened in 2014.
There were surprises too in the Dallas count. Observers saw “uncommon species that should have migrated from the area months ago, including a very rare blue-head vireo and two pine warblers (both were never found on any previous Dallas count) along with two turkey vultures, an eastern towhee and a gray catbird,’’ Koval said.