Sequoyah County Bird Watchers Submit Guesses In Longest-Running National Bird Count

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SEQUOYAH COUNTY (KFSM) -- This year marks the 117th anniversary of the National Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count and the 41st Annual Christmas Bird Count at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge.

Like trying to count the number of M&M's in the jar, trying to figure out how many birds in a given flock can be tough.

"It's a rough count," said Jim Erb, a bird counter. "Usually, I'm under what they (actually) are."

For more than a century, people have been trying anyway.

The National Audubon Society's Christmas bird count in Arkansas takes place at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge.

"This is an all-day deal," Erb said. "Probably about eight hours. I'm 73 years old, too."

Counters might see anywhere from 80-115 species of birds.

"Then we'll tally all these numbers up this afternoon," said Albert Harris, another bird counter. "They'll be sent back to Audubon, and they'll have records from all these years and all these different locations."

So all the fun these folks have bird watching leads to more information for scientific research.

"It's a great day," Erb said. "People would pay money to come do this, and I don't pay anything. I just get pure joy from it."

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