At the end of each year, Ocracoke and Portsmouth islands are among the thousands of areas that participate in the nationwide Christmas Bird Counts that runs from Dec. 14 to Jan. 5.
The dates will be Sunday, Dec. 29, for Ocracoke and Monday, Dec. 30, for Portsmouth.
The resulting data becomes part of the longest wildlife census in the nation and can help track whether certain species are decreasing or increasing.
The first Ocracoke count was in 1981 and Portsmouth in 1988. Last year, 82 species were reported on Ocracoke and 59 were tallied on Portsmouth.
To participate in these two counts, contact Peter Vankevich, text/cell: 202 468-2871, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.