During the holidays, here’s a great idea to get the family together for a socially distanced, outdoor gathering. Join in the fun of a Christmas Bird Count at home or many public locations.

For 122  years, the Audubon Society has been counting winter birds at Christmas Bird Counts across the country. You can join in with a group event or participate at a nearby park or from their own backyard.

Volunteers with the Burroughs Audubon Society of Greater Kansas City will be counting in December and January. To find a bird count event in every state, visit Audubon Society for a list by city and state.

During the count, birders gather to count every bird they see within a 15-mile wide circle, and to note all the different species. The count helps compare the rise or decline of certain species over the years. The National Audubon Society website has a list and photographs of the 20 common North American birds with the greatest population declines since 1967.

This year, the Christmas Bird Count began December 14 and will end January 5, 2022. Here are the organizers for the Christmas Bird Counts in northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas. Email organizers for potential event dates and locations.

Photo: Linda Williams