In Christmas Tradition, Gulf Coast Birds Counted

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Grand Isle, LA (AP) - For years, volunteers have counted birds
on the Gulf Coast every Christmas for the National Audubon Society.

This year, eight months after the BP oil spill, the bird counts
along the Gulf of Mexico have a special meaning.

Phil Stouffer, a bird expert and professor at Louisiana State
University, was on a recent bird count on Grand Isle. That's a
barrier island hit hard by the spill. He says the count is a
superficial look at bird numbers, but he says they could reveal any
dramatic changes due to the spill.

The Audubon Society plans to study this winter's bird counts for
clues about the oil spill and its effects.

Christmas bird counts in America date to 1900. Today, some
60,000 birders across the Western Hemisphere participate.

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For more information about the National Audubon Society's
Christmas bird count go to:
http://birds.audubon.org/christmas-bird-count
Information about birds and the Gulf oil spill can be found at:
http://www.restorethegulf.gov/fish-wildlife/birds

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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