54 participants observed 60 species of birds on count day. There were 54 counters with 51 in the morning and 37 in the afternoon. Four species of owls were recorded again this year. No additional bird species were added during count week. Total individuals sighted were 11766. Students, teachers, and families were encouraged to participate.
Common Redpolls made an appearance this year and a Bohemian Waxwing was in a group of Cedar Waxwings. A Winter Wren was in the area. Rough-legged Hawks were present in three sections of the count circle. Two Northern Saw-whet Owls were observed in our count circle. There has been a southerly invasion this winter across North America for this owl species. Birds many consider unusual for winter are actually frequently seen on our count each year. They include: Great Heron, Carolina Wren, Eastern Bluebird, and American Robin.
All counters were in the field this year with one pair changing to conduct a feeder count in the afternoon. There were 16 morning parties and 11 afternoon parties beginning at 8 a.m. and ending at 5 p.m. Conditions were 100% overcast in the morning and 90% overcast in the afternoon. Temperature was fairly uniform between 25 and 32 F with a light breeze in the morning and still in the afternoon. Snow depth was between 2 and 3 inches.
We totaled 109.75 hours in vehicles traveling 607 miles. On foot we spent 13.5 hours covering 14.75 miles. A total of 621.75 miles were on foot and driving. The total birding hours was 123.25 plus 4 hours owling for 35 miles.
Ranger Steve helped plan the event and Tom Leggett covered count day responsibilities and their support is greatly appreciated.
Great appreciation is extended to all participants and section leaders.
The Grand Rapids Audubon Club hosts the annual count and the Wittenbach/Wege Agricultural and Environmental Education Center was a co-host providing building facility for our use. Results are submitted the National Audubon Society where results are compiled with those from other counts held across the continent.
Tentatively mark your calendars for the 28 December 2013 count.
Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at the firstname.lastname@example.org Ody Brook, 13010 Northland Dr, Cedar Springs, MI 49319-8433. 616-696-1753