ERSKINE, Minn. — For the fifth year in a row, the Rydell and Glacial Ridge National Wildlife will host a Christmas Bird Count.

This year's event, taking place Thursday, Dec. 19, is part of counts that are held in more than 2,500 designated areas around Canada, Latin America and America. Information collected from the count provides important insight into winter ranges of birds, population trends and how a changing climate alters winter bird distribution.

Birds observed in the Rydell and Glacial Ridge Count Circle over the past four years have included 40 different species, including northern shrikes, Bohemian waxwings, bald eagles and more.

Participants are invited to meet at the Rydell NWR Visitor Center, 17788 349th St. SE, at 8 a.m. Thursday for coffee and a brief meeting. Counting will begin following the meeting and a potluck lunch will be served by the refuge staff at noon.

Interested counters are encouraged to RSVP to benjamin_walker@fws.gov no later than Tuesday, Dec. 17. For more information, or to ask questions, call Ben at 218-687-2229, extension 12.