SCAMMON, KS.--- Some local residents kicked off 2014 by looking at the skies, but not for planes or Superman. Right as the sun rose, bird enthusiasts gathered in Southeastern Kansas to bird watch
"Birds are all over the place. They're easy to see, they're beautiful. Delightful to view and see their behavior," said Steven Ford, PSU Biology Professor.
Data is kept on different species seen and how many there are. Those statistics can help determine what the health of the bird population is in specific areas.
"As the habitat changes, the community of birds can change. If things get better, you see more birds," said Steven.
This bird watch is part of a nationwide experiment called Christmas Bird Count, run by the National Audubon Society.
"Birds, to some extent, are an indication of the sort of the canary in the mine. Their an indication of the quality of the environment. So it's interesting to look at their overall abundance year to year," said Steven.
The experiment is all volunteer.
"It's a day time activity, I like the visualness of it and the sound. Usually, there is something going on as you go out," said Cindy Ford, PSU Professor.
Some even say watching birds interact with nature is relaxing.
"Despite what I'm doing, I'm constantly seeing birds and I'm hearing birds. It's not just something I come out and do on New Years Day. I watch birds all the time," said Cindy.
"It's a nice excuse to get outside and enjoy yourself, and get a tally on the wildlife," said Steven.
Last year, volunteers spotted 69 different bird species in the Scammon area.
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