It takes patience at this time of year.
That's how one man participating in the annual Christmas Bird Count at Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge today describes the search for birds in a North Dakota winter.
A groups of bird watchers gathered at the refuge headquarters as the sun rose this morning, getting ready for the bird count.
The idea is to divide a circular area into pieces that various people travel, looking for and recording information on birds.
But, given the season, it can be slow going in finding and identifying birds.
(Ron Martin, Bird Count Coordinator) "Unfortunately there aren't as many birds as sometimes. The weather presents a challenge . Some years the roads are a challenge but not too bad this year. Hopefully we'll be able to make it around to most of the con circle."
The bird count happened today at Upper Souris and at Lostwood, J. Clark Salyer, and Des Lacs National Wildlife refuges earlier this week.
An estimated 45-thousand volunteers participate in the Christmas Bird Count across North America and parts of Central and South America and Antarctica in the few weeks surrounding the holiday.