On Dec. 14, 2017 the 118th annual Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count took place in Hernando County. Birders of all ages participated in the dawn to dusk count. Nationwide counts take place between Thursday Dec. 14, 2017 and Friday Jan. 5, 2018. The Christmas Bird Count was started by Dr. Frank Chapman, founder of the predecessor to Audubon Magazine as a way to promote conservation during Christmastime. Instead of hunting birds, he urged people to count them.