Jan 22, 2008 — For the 108th year, volunteer birders fanned out across the country for the annual birding census earlier this winter. The all-volunteer effort takes a snapshot of bird populations to monitor their status and distribution across the Western Hemisphere. The Audubon Society started the Christmas Bird Count in 1900 as an alternative to a Victorian-era holiday hunting tradition of shooting the greatest number of birds. Today, data collected during the Christmas Bird Count helps researchers monitor bird behavior and bird conservation. You could call it bird watching with a benefit. Todd Moe tagged along with some Adirondack bird enthusiasts who began their avian adventure at first light.