CHICAGO (WBBM) Underway now through Jan. 5 is the National Audubon Society’s annual Christmas bird count, which last year reported spotting 56 million birds from Central America north through Canada.

WBBM Newsradio 780’s John Cody reports the Chicago contingent promises to be out in force, despite wind chills in the negative range.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s John Cody Reports

Thirty-four-year veteran Audubon bird counter Alan Anderson said his count will be this weekend in the Indiana dunes, no matter how cold the weather. But he says he is willing to be flexible about that.

“A lot of times in the afternoon, we just drive afield and look for raptors and things like that, but all the count I do, I spend all morning, no matter what the weather,” he said.

The counters in groups of 15 to 20 cover a circle 15 miles in diameter and count every single bird they see, with the results reported for analysis into the Audubon Society.

The society has used the data to document climate change, and also note recovery of formerly endangered species such as the bald eagle.

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