In about 1997 or 1998, substituting in a biology classroom at Lawrence High (Kansas),  I overheard Dr Stan Roth soliciting participants for something called a Christmas Bird Count, and I signed on, something like buying a pig in a poke.  The high on count day was 11 degrees at Camp Naish, Bonner Springs, KS.   I remember Dr. Roth navigated that rugged, snowy terrain at a brisk pace,  as nearly like the crow flies as possible---seemingly oblivious to trails.  My only specific bird recollection is of a little brown bird hopping along a bit of open water in a creek.  Stan called out "Winter Wren."  I'd never even heard of it!  But that little wren and a troop of hardy, friendly birders drew me in and hooked me. 

You do not have to have experience or expertise to participate!  Find a count nearby, or in a place you'd like to visit.  Contact the compiler ahead of time to facilitate planning and show up.   It's a wonderful introduction to a group of people and their passion for birds.

Here is one list of 27 circles in Missouri:
There may be others.  

Each participant pays $5 to help cover administrative costs. 

Email me if you need more help. 
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June Newman
Carrollton, MO

The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
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