This Saturday, December 19, will mark Owatonna's 44th Christmas Bird Count. Anyone can take part. The count area covers a 15-mile diameter circle with Havana as the center point. This means the towns of Clinton Falls, Claremont and Steele Center are in the count area.

The field count usually begins around 7:45AM and runs until 11:30AM, followed by a lunch break, and then resumes in the afternoon. Those taking part in the field count are asked to commit to at least a half-day of counting.

More home counters are needed as well. Just keep an eye on your bird feeder or feeders. To avoid duplication, you're asked to count the greatest number of any one bird appearing at the same time at your feeder. Don't add up the totals, just use the greatest number you see at one time.

Last year, 67 people took part in the count. Fifty-two counted from home and 15 worked the field count, with five of them being first-time counters.

To find out more and to phone in your results either Saturday evening or early Sunday, contact Darryl Hill at (507) 451-5073. There is no charge to take part in the count.

The Christmas Bird Count is Saturday. Townsquaremedia