The 64th annual Westport Christmas Bird Count is scheduled Sunday, Dec. 21, and organizers are looking for volunteers -- whether novices or expert birders.

Small groups of bird watchers will scour predetermined tracts under supervision of captains, and counts of various species will be reported to the National Audubon Society, directors of the Westport count said in a news release.

The 24-hour event begins at midnight Saturday night and ends at midnight Sunday night, but most activities are during daylight hours, organizers said. Nationally, 44,000 volunteers typically participate in the count.

Volunteers will be assigned to a field team and may register by emailing the Westport count's director, Mardi Townsend, at

The Westport count will include Westport and six other towns within a 15-mile radius of the twin bridges on Route 57. Outside of Westport, teams will count birds on tracts in Darien, Norwalk, Weston, Easton, Fairfield and New Canaan, according to the release.

Less-experienced bird watchers generally are paired with experienced birders, according to the release. Most groups start looking at 7 a.m., although some start several hours earlier, looking for owls and other species active at night.

Some volunteers participate for two or three hours; others make it a daylong activity by land and by boat, organizers said. Most field activity ends at sundown.

Sunday's Westport count will take place regardless of weather,

and volunteers should dress appropriately, including footware suitable for treks through fields and woods, according to the release.

To volunteer or for more information, email Mardi Townsend at