Hamilton will have one of the first Audubon Christmas Bird Counts in the nation Saturday as the annual Audubon count starts December 14 and continues through January 5th. If you want to be in the Hamilton count, be at the Teller Wildlife Refuge Education Barn north of Corvallis at 1180 Chaffin Lane at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. The counting crews will head out at about 8 a.m. They take a break at noon with homemade chili and Oreo cookies at the Teller, along with other Christmas goodies. If you've never been on a bird count before, don't worry. The Bitterroot Audubon Society will make sure you're with an experienced birder. If you can come for part of the day or all day, please make the effort. The numbers generated are valuable in checking those long-term trends of bird populations.

Hamilton crews see about 70 different species each year, with total numbers in the thousands. The Hamilton circle centers on the airport. If you can't make it to the Hamilton count, there's another at Stevensville on December 28th. More information is at the Bitterroot Audubon website.