Monday, June 11, 2012

Breeding Bird Survey, 2012

The annual breeding birds survey was conducted by 19 volunteers on June 3rd. They counted the Barred Owls that we have been seeing lately! It appears that there is a low species count but a large number of individuals compared with their 15 years of data. The following is directly from their website:

"For two decades, volunteers have participated in the Stinchfield Woods Breeding Birds Survey by counting birds heard and seen on a weekend morning in early June. The count typically yields species from Michigan's north such as Pine, Blackburnian, and Black-throated Green Warblers, Blue-headed Vireos, and Red-breasted Nuthatches and Ohio's south such as Acadian flycatchers and Hooded warblers.
Year 2012's count took place on a pleasant, sunny Sunday, June 3, 2012, from 7 to 11 am. Special thanks go to our big crew of 19 volunteer counters.

Seen for only the second time in 15 years was a BARRED OWL, and not one but two owls, voicing a resounding "Who-cooks-for-you!" at a gang of harrassing crows, jays, etc., giving chase.
Most numerous individuals in a species were American crow (66), perhaps on high alert for the owls, followed by Black-capped chickadees (53), Chipping sparrows (50), and Eastern wood-pewees (47).

Holding their own in terms of numbers are PILEATED WOODPECKERS at 3, HOODED WARBLERS at 14, Black-throated green warblers at 15, Pine warblers at 44, and Red-eyed vireos at 53.
No species was conspicuously absent except for Canada Geese, and they are usually heard flying overhead, not residing at Stinchfield. For the second year in a row, numbers of these species continue to be low: Indigo buntings at 12 (average = 22.2). Wood thrush at 5 (average 7.6), and Downy woodpeckers at 4 (average 7.4).

Ending the day at 11 am was a lone Double-creasted cormorant flying high above our rendezvous spot, a species seen for the first time at at Stinchfield. After the count, Roger lamented fewer bird species than usual, and he was right. Today's total of 50 species was the second lowest in 15 years -- well below the 15-year average of 56.4 birds. In terms of numbers of individuals, we counted 807 species, the third highest in 15 years, well above the 15-year average of 755.4.

Please mark your calendars now for next year's Stinchfield count on Sunday, June 2, 2012, 7 to about 11 am. Thanks again to the nineteen birders who took part in this year's count. You made it possible for us to partition the woods into sixths so that we could take our time birding and enjoying the day."

Thank you to the volunteers! We appreciate the data that you gather! 

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