A bird viewed via your binoculars is worth not just one in the bush, but vital climate-change data.
The annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count is Thursday. This year's viewing, in which "avian aficiondos" will scour parks, woods, neighborhoods and parking lots for as many bird species as they can see, is the 113th annual, according to SF Weekly.
Totals from the count "are at the heart of hundreds of studies and inform decisions by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of the Interior, and the EPA," said Gary Langham, chief scientist of the Golden Gate Audubon society.
There were 2,200 counts across the globe last year, the newspaper reported. In each count, volunteers scour the skies in a 15-mile circle, trying to identify each and every bird.
Last year, 181 species of bird were found in Oakland, and 176 were found in San Francisco.