A bald eagle perches on a piling at Papke’s Landing south of Petersburg in the summer of 2013. Volunteers spotted 21 eagles during this year’s count. (Joe Viechnicki/KFSK)

Across the nation, volunteers are out this month counting birds and logging species, as part of the 121st Audubon Christmas Bird Count. 16 volunteers and others at their bird feeders recorded Petersburg’s feathered friends Saturday, December 19th. They covered over 50 miles, 10 of that on foot, counting 55 species and a total of 5,734 birds. It was a windy, rainy day making the counting difficult. Joe Viechnicki spoke with organizer Brad Hunter about this year’s effort.

The local bird count dates back to at least 1988. There are several local Facebook pages for bird enthusiasts. Hunter’s page is called Petersburg Birders and he’s posted the summary of this year’s count there.