Christmas Bird Count includes 17 counters

Bouldan sees 48 trumpeter swans

NEW ULM — Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the New Ulm Area Christmas Bird Count (CBC) on Dec. 19 included 17 counters in 10 field count parties and six feeder count reports.

“Well done everyone. We had a good turn-out for the count. We were able to cover the whole count circle pretty well,” said New Ulm Bird Count organizer Elaine Poulson.

She said 36 species were observed with a total population of 2,645. Those numbers compare favorably to last year’s count of 32 species with a population of 1,185 with 13 counters in the field and four feeder counters.

“Dick and I were out around 9:15 a.m. and found it to be very quiet,” Poulson said. “I had a hard time seeing the birds due to the cloudy skies. As there was no snow, I think it was harder to see into the field areas.”

“There were reports of many interesting species. I think the highlight was Brad Bouldan seeing 48 trumpeter swans,” said Poulson.

“It was still fun even if we couldn’t meet before count at Hy-Vee Foods as usual. Maybe next year,” said Elaine.

“I also wanted to let you know I have organized my last count. I am looking for one of your= great people to step up and take over the responsibility,” Poulson said. “We have a great number of talented counters who can easily handle it. Please let me know if anyone is interested. I will get the information to them.”

New Ulm area bird count data included 480 house sparrows, 417 European starlings, 374 rock pigeons, 48 trumpeter Swans, 33 bald eagles, 10 red-tailed hawks, 25 red-ballied woodpeckers, three morning doves, two great horned owls and one barred owl.

Birders interested in participating in the CBC can sign up and join through the Audubon Society website, www.audubon.org. The Audubon Society and other organizations use the data collected in the long-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations, and to help guide conservation action.

Data collected by observers over the past century allow Audubon researchers, conservation biologists, wildlife agencies, and other interested individuals to study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America.

When combined with the North American Breeding Bird Survey, which helps fuel a $75 billion wildlife watching industry, it provides a picture of how the continent’s bird populations have changed in time and space.

The long-term perspective is vital for conservationists. It informs strategies to protect birds and their habitat, and helps identify environmental issues with implications for people as well.

The Audubon’s 2014 Climate Change Report is a comprehensive, first-of-its-kind study that predicts how climate change could affect the ranges of 588 North American birds.

Of the 588 bird species Audubon studied, more than half are likely to be in trouble.

Models indicate 314 species will lose more than 50% of their current climate range by 2080.

For more information, visit www.audubon.org

(Fritz Busch can be emailed at nujournal.com).


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