Ferguson Museum Christmas Bird Count 2013

by Jane Ahrens
Bird Count Image

The 114th Annual Christmas Bird Count will take place on Saturday, December 28 this year.  Anyone interested in participating for all or part of the day is welcome.

A little background pulled from the February 2012 Fog Horn:
H.L. Ferguson Museum Christmas Bird Count 2011

“For several years, the H. L. Ferguson Museum has participated in the Christmas Bird Count, a tradition initiated by our former curator, Ed Horning. Sponsored by the Audubon Society, the first Christmas Bird Count was held on Christmas Day of 1900 with 27 observers in 25 locations across Canada and the United States. Since that time, the Count has grown to include well over 50,000 counters at 2000 locations each year – from above the Arctic Circle to the waters of the Drake Passage off Tierra del Fuego.

For this past year’s count, held from December 14 through January 5, tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas took part in the count, providing the data collected in this longest-running wildlife census, to assess the health of bird populations – and to help guide conservation action. The island is part of the New London count geographic area or “circle”, thus birding is restricted to the western half of the island. We go as far as Middle Farms and tally both species and numbers of birds seen. The Fishers count is one of the latest and always occurs on the Saturday following Christmas Day.”

Highlights from past counts have included sightings of a barred owl, gannets, horned larks, horned grebe, red-breasted nuthatch, horned larks and a Cooper’s hawk. Greatest numbers have included the common eider, bufflehead, and red-breasted merganser.

At the end of the day, all Fishers Island birds are tallied up by Penni Sharp and called in to the count leader in New London. The Christmas Bird Count is the longest running Citizen Science survey in the world and provides critical data on population trends. Tens of thousands of participants know that it is also a lot of fun. Data from the over 2,000 circles will be entered over the coming months into mid-2014. For more information visit: http://birds.audubon.org/christmas-bird-count

The Museum encourages any interested parties to participate this year. You can meet the group at the Museum at 9:00 am.  Or, if you don’t want to brave the cold, data from bird feeders is also welcome. If you plan to be a part of the 2013 Bird Count, please contact Penni Sharp at pensharp4@gmail.com or 788-7397 by December 27. Mark your calendar for December 28, 2013. All are welcome to join in the fun!

Featured Photo

USCG Eagle passing the Race early morning March 18, 2023 on her return from the Chesapeake Bay . Photo Credit Marlin Bloethe

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