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From the Bylaws of the ECOC:

"The purposes of the Club, which was established in 1916, are to promote interest in ornithological study in Essex County, Massachusetts, and to engage members in projects and pursuits in the furtherance of such study. More specifically, the Club seeks:

1. To maintain a long tradition of holding an annual May bird census by canoe and on foot on and along the Ipswich River.

2. To periodically revise the official checklist of the birds of Essex County.

3. To organize or participate in other such projects and field trips consistent with the above purposes."