The Missouri Department of Conservation says it is looking for citizen scientists – people to take part in the National Adubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count. This is a big deal for bird-watchers. The Christmas Bird County is held between December 14th – that’s starting a week from today – and running until January 5th. Local Audubon chapters coordinate this effort to gather data on winter bird populations – and track the long-term status of species and large-scale trends. Missouri hosts about 20 of these bird counts – 3 here in southeast Missouri – December 14th at the Mingo National Wildlife Refuge, December 16th at Big Spring and December 20th in the Poplar Bluff area. The first Christmas Bird Count was held 117 years ago, in 1900.