Join novice and expert birders alike for the South Lake Tahoe Christmas Bird Count.

The Christmas Bird Count, sponsored by the Tahoe Institute for Natural Science (TINS), started in 1900. Today it is widely regarded as the largest and oldest citizen science project in the world.

"This fun and social day has become a family tradition among generations, and it is a great excuse to get out and do some birding in the winter," states TINS. "People who don't want to go outside can get involved too, by keeping track of birds at their feeders."

Each citizen scientist who participates in the count makes a valuable contribution to conservation, according to TINS.

"Participants collect critical data on bird population trends, and over the years, these volunteers have built a database unmatched by any other wildlife census. The Audubon Society and other organizations use the CBC database to assess the health of bird populations — and to help guide conservation action."

After the count, which will take place regardless of weather conditions, the group will reconvene for pizza and refreshments.

Participation is free, but those interested are asked to RSVP at For information, call 775-298-0067 or email Sarah Hockensmith at