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An unusual visitor on the 2008 bird count: a leucistic black-capped Chickadee. Photo: Larry Master
An unusual visitor on the 2008 bird count: a leucistic black-capped Chickadee. Photo: Larry Master

Birders around the globe flock to annual count

ITHACA, N.Y. (AP) Birders around the globe will tally up sightings this weekend in the 17th annual Great Backyard Bird Count sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, National Audubon Society and Bird Studies Canada.

Participants count birds in their backyards or other chosen location for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, which runs from Friday through Monday.

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They'll enter their sightings at www.BirdCount.org, where volunteers can also get information about how to join the free event.

Organizers say the information gathered by tens of thousands of volunteers helps scientists track the health of bird populations at a scale that wouldn't otherwise be possible.

Last year, people recorded sightings of 34 million birds in 110 countries on six continents.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

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