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By Olivia Rose
Pilot Writer 

Petersburg's annual bird count takes flight on Mitkof Island


December 14, 2023

On Dec. 16, local avian enthusiasts will set out on a quest — not to hunt birds, but to count them as participants in the National Audubon Society’s 124th Christmas Bird Count.

The nationwide Christmas Bird Count event is a coordinated citizen science data collection effort that Petersburg started participating in around 1988.

“There used to be a custom in the United States of going out on Christmas day and seeing how many birds you could shoot,” said Brad Hunter, who coordinates the local effort on Mitkof Island. “And this was started [in 1900] as an alternative to that, to go ou...

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