CARROLL, Iowa- Bird lovers across the state spend each holiday season outdoors to participate in the Christmas Bird Count.
On designated days, in certain areas on the map across Iowa volunteers fan out to count the number and types of birds found in the area.
“We’re gonna go out and do our best to cover a 15 mile diameter circle,” said Matt Wetrich, of the Carroll County Conservation Board. “We’ll look at the kind of species, amount of each species, the time we've been doing it, the miles we travel, and all that gets turned into a state compiler.”
The effort is a national count done by the Audubon Society in cooperation with local conservation officials.
“Hearing birds is a big part of having a more inclusive count,” said Wetrich. “If you don't know their songs you're really missing out on quite a bit.”
Wetrich added there are phone apps which can help you identify the sound of the birds.
“They're like little flying angels over earth,” said Bill Simmons of Carroll. “I like the colors, the varieties, their habits, and their songs.
“I grew up with my parents and grandparents watching birds,” said Sue Lyngaas, of Storm Lake. “Since I've been in Iowa there are a lot more waterfowl and owls that I've been able to see.”