Submitted by Lewis and Clark National Historic Park
The 21st annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is taking place February 16 through 19. To participate in this citizen science opportunity, anyone in the world can count birds for at least 15 minutes at any location on one or more days of the count and enter their sightings at gbbc.birdcount.org. The information gathered by tens of thousands of individuals helps track changes in bird populations on a massive scale. The GBBC is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society with partner Bird Studies Canada.
From Friday, February 16, through Monday, February 19, visitors to Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, Fort Clatsop can join in the count by recording bird observations in the park and make plans to count birds in their own backyards. Binoculars will be available for loan within the park.
Along with the actual bird counting activities, the park has planned four days of bird-related opportunities. A “great pink heron scavenger hunt” will be on-going using the Netul Trail along the Lewis and Clark River. A “Birds of Fort Clatsop” display is in the visitor center.
On Saturday, February 17, Mike Patterson will lead a birding walk starting at 8:30 a.m. in the Fort Clatsop Visitor Center lobby. Although leashed dogs are welcome at most of the park’s outdoor programs, dogs are not allowed at this morning walk. Please dress for the weather. The walk is wheelchair accessible although non-motorized users might need assistance for about 200 yards.
On Sunday, February 18, Travis Koons, a curator at The Oregon Zoo, will talk about plans to return wild California condors to their historic range along the Columbia River and north of it. This program is part of the monthly In Their Footsteps guest speaker series and takes place at 1:00 p.m. in the Netul River Room of the Fort Clatsop Visitor Center.
On Monday, February 19, Presidents’ Day, the park will offer a birding walk in Spanish at 10:00 a.m. starting in the Fort Clatsop Visitor Center lobby. Although leashed dogs are welcome at most of the park’s outdoor programs, dogs (perros) are not allowed at this morning walk. Please dress for the weather. The walk is wheelchair accessible although non-motorized users might need assistance for about 200 yards.
Park hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day. Admission is $5 per adult and free for youth 15 years old and under. Passes to National Park Service sites are accepted. A variety of bird field guides are available for purchase at the Lewis & Clark National Park Association bookstore in the Fort Clatsop Visitor Center.
For more information on the worldwide bird count event or to submit bird counts from your home go to gbbc.birdcount.org. The weekend’s birding events at Fort Clatsop are sponsored by the Lewis & Clark National Park Association and the National Park Service. For more information, call the park at 503-861-2471 or check out Lewis and Clark National Historical Park website or Lewis and Clark National Historical Park on Facebook.