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For Immediate Use                                                                                               Contact: Alison Sheehey, (760) 378-2531
February 8, 2011                                                                                                                

Beginning Bird Watching Class - Saturday, Feb 12, 9am-11am

To participants of the Great Backyard Bird Count - Audubon offers this great workshop

Weldon, CA – The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is almost here! It starts on Friday, February 18, and continues through Monday, February 21. It's easy and fun to participate. Just watch birds for at least 15 minutes at any location on one or more days of the count and report the highest number of each species you see together at one time. There will be a workshop on beginning bird watching on Saturday, February 12th from 9am-11am at Audubon's Kern River Preserve in preparation for the GBBC.

Come on out to the Preserve on Saturday morning to learn basic bird identification and how to set-up an online GBBC account. We will identify and count the birds in a discrete area (it doesn't just have to be a backyard). Then you will be taught how to will upload the results live onto the GBBC website. You can upload checklists from the preserve, your backyard or anyplace that you bird for at least 15 minutes in one day over the four days of the GBBC. You can upload multiple checklists from different locations each day.

The Saturday event will be a five-part interactive workshop. (Any element may be dropped for time if needed)

1. Binocular use (please bring your binoculars if you have them... we have some to borrow if you don't own a pair). Many people find it frustrating to see through binoculars. There are four simple yet critical steps to make it a joyous experience. You will be taken through these steps.

2. Watching birds and seeing field marks are two different things. Many of us learn to see the whole bird and put a name on it. That works but takes a long time. Learn how to observe different parts of birds to create the whole picture and then use a field guide to find the bird.

3. After learning how to use a field guide… take a walk with an expert, learn birding etiquette and get help identifying any species seen.

4. We will then learn how to document the birds you see and set-up an online account to the Great Backyard Bird Count website.

5. Participants will then be able to upload to the GBBC website during any of the four days of the Great Backyard Bird Count.

For more information and birding tips visit the GBBC website. You must do your bird counts over the four days of the GBBC but you have until March 1 to enter your information through the GBBC website and to send them your entries for the GBBC photo contest.

Looking to find out about the birds in your area? Visit Audubon at Home’s Birds to Help website for some tips. Tips are organized according to setting—urban, suburban, or rural. For more information Email

Monthly events are free and appropriate for ages 5 and up. All interested persons (children are welcome but those under 14 must be accompanied by an adult).

All events are held outdoors at the Audubon Kern River Preserve headquarters. Please dress for cold to warm weather, bring drinks, a picnic lunch, sunscreen and bug spray. Binoculars, camera and a field guide are always a good idea if you have them.

For more information please contact us at 1-(760) 378-2531 or

Directions to the preserve:
18747 Highway 178
Weldon, CA 93283
On State Highway 178, the preserve is 57 miles east of Highway 99 in Bakersfield and 30 miles west of Highway 14 near Inyokern.
Look for a large Audubon California sign at the entrance to the Kern River Preserve.
The entrance is 100 feet west of Kelso Valley Road.
Turn on the dirt easement road… drive 0.2 miles to the parking area inside the forest.
Look for Lake Isabella on a map if you are coming from outside the immediate area.

About Audubon Kern River Preserve

The Kern River Preserve is managed by Audubon California for the preservation of one of California’s largest contiguous cottonwood-willow riparian forests and the wildlife it supports.

Audubon Kern River Preserve supporters provide financial and volunteer support for Preserve outreach, education, wildlife habitat protection & stewardship.

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Kern River Preserve • P.O. Box 1662 • 18747 Hwy. 178 • Weldon, CA 93283 • E-mail
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This site was created on October 21, 1998. Please Email to make comments or offer suggestions.