Everything tagged

Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Warm up your bird ID before Christmas Bird Count

WILDLIFE WATCHING — Can you ID these two birds?  If not, you may want to attend one of the Audubon Society programs tonight and Wednesday on identifying wintering birds.

  • Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife experts say both birds are male finches and despite the difference in photo size here, they are about the same size in real life.
     
    The one on the left is a house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) and the one on the right is a Cassin’s finch (Carpodacus cassinii).
     
    Cassin’s bright red cap ends sharply at brown-streaked nape and its tail is strongly notched. House finch’s red is more on the front of its head under a brown cap, and the red color can vary to orange or even yellow; house finch also has a more square tail.

10 things learned from Christmas Bird Count data

WILDLIFE WATCHING — Local Audubon Society chapters have tapped professional biologists to present special pre-Christmas Bird Count programs on identifying and understanding “winter birds:”

Whether you're gearing up for joining a group outing during the Audubon Society's 114th annual Christmas Bird Count or simply brushing up on your bird identification skills, check out one of these free programs:

Coeur d’Alene Audubon will feature Carrie Hugo, BLM wildlife biologist, on Tuesday (Dec. 10), 7 p.m., at Lutheran Church of the Master, 4800 N. Ramsey Rd. in Coeur d’Alene.

Spokane Audubon will feature Gary Blevins, Spokane Falls Community College biology professor on Wednesday (Dec. 11), 7 p.m., at Riverview Community Building, 2117 E. North Crescent Ave. Driving directions: tinyurl.com/SASmeeting.

The Christmas Bird Count has provided an abundance of data to scientists and researchers. According to the Spokane Auduabon Society, some of the conclusions drawn or supported from the study of CBC data include:
  1. Birds are not climate skeptics, having spoken with their wings. (Many North American species’ winter ranges have moved northward and inland.)
  2. The Bald Eagle is back; the Endangered Species Act works.
  3. Many of America's most familiar and beloved birds are in serious decline, including Evening Grosbeak, Field and Grasshopper Sparrows, Snow Buntings and Ruffed Grouse.
  4. Eurasian Collared-Doves have invaded the US.
  5. Peregrine Falcons are reclaiming territory they had disappeared from in the 1950s-60s.
  6. Sage-grouse are in deep trouble.
  7. More and more hummingbirds are staying in the USA and Canada for winter.
  8. “Eastern” House Finches having been moving west for 60 years.
  9. How fast and how far West Nile virus has spread.
  10. Birds are early indicators of environmental problems that can affect people (see #1).

Audubon Society invites newbies to programs on winter birds

WILDLIFE WATCHING — Excellent programs on winter birding are planned next week, a spinoff in the birding social event of the year.

Local Audubon Society chapters have tapped professional biologists to present special pre-Christmas Bird Count programs on identifying and understanding “winter birds:”

Whether you're gearing up for joining a group outing during the Audubon Society's 114th annual Christmas Bird Count or simply brushing up on your bird identification skills, check out one of these free programs:

Coeur d’Alene Audubon will feature Carrie Hugo, BLM wildlife biologist, on Tuesday (Dec. 10), 7 p.m., at Lutheran Church of the Master, 4800 N. Ramsey Rd. in Coeur d’Alene.

Spokane Audubon will feature Gary Blevins, Spokane Falls Community College biology professor on Wednesday (Dec. 11), 7 p.m., at Riverview Community Building, 2117 E. North Crescent Ave. Driving directions: tinyurl.com/SASmeeting.

The Audubon Chapters also welcome newcomers on the Christmas Bird Count field trips they've organized.  Following are the dates and the leader contacts:

NORTH IDAHO

Coeur d’Alene: Dec. 14; Shirley Sturts, (208) 664-5318, shirley.sturts@gmail.com.

Moscow: Dec. 14; Kas Dumroese, kas.birder@gmail.com.

Lewiston: Dec. 15; contact Bryan Jamieson, jami9197@aol.com.

Sandpoint: Dec. 14; Rich Del Carlo, (208) 265-8989, rich@peregrinetree.com.

Bonners Ferry: Dec. 28; Jan Rose (208) 267-7791, aljanrose@hotmail.com.

Spirit Lake: Jan. 2; Shirley Sturts.

Indian Mountain: Jan. 5; Don Heikkila, (208) 659-3389, idfinn@sm-email.com.

EASTERN WASHINGTON

Pullman: Dec. 14; Marie Dymkoski, marie-dymkoski@msn.com.

Colville: Dec. 14; Barbara Harding, (509) 684-8384, Barbara_Harding@fws.gov.

Pend Oreille River: Dec. 15; John Stuart, (509) 447-2644, ninebark@povn.com.

Clarkston: Dec. 15; Bryan Jamieson, jami9197@aol.com.

Chewelah: Dec. 21; Mike Munts (509) 684-8384, strix.nebulosa1987@gmail.com.

Spokane: Dec. 29; Alan McCoy, 448-3123, ahm2352@gmail.com. 

CdA Audubon logs record Christmas Bird Count

WILDLIFE WATCHING — Shirley Sturts has just posting this detailed wrap-up of the Coeur d'Alene Audubon Society's annual Christmas Bird Count.  It's one of thousands of Christmas Bird Counts underway this  month in the region and throughout North America.

Here are the details from CdA, where participants logged the highest number of individual birds in 22-year history of the club's participation in the century-old count:

The CDA CBC was held Dec. 15 with 30 field counters 12 feeder counters.

  • We had 73 species and 10,223 individuals.
  • In 22 years of this count, this is our highest number of individuals. Previous record was 10,119 in 2007.
  • We tied with ‘03 and ‘07 for the most species.

The highlight of our CBC are the high number of hawks we counted:

  • Northern Harrier 8
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk 1
  • Cooper’s Hawk 3
  • Red-tailed Hawk 43 (previous record 26 in 2001)
  • Rough-legged Hawk 19 (previous record 20 in 1993)
  • Buteo sp 7 (previous record 3 in 2011)
  • American Kestrel 18 (previous record 15 in 1999)
  • Merlin 1
  • Possible Peregrine or Prairie Falcon

 Of interest:

  • Gray Partridge 4
  • Snowy Owl 1
  • Spotted Towhee 1 ( observed three other CBC but only cw)

New to the count:

  • Greater White-fronted Goose
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet

See CdA Audubon's Christmas Bird Count web page.

See a chart for the CdA count from 1991 – 2012.

Area Bird Watches Prepare For Xmas

Inland Northwest birders are among thousands in roughly 2,000 localities across North America and beyond who will be flocking together in the next few weeks for the 112th annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count. New birders are invited to join avid birdwatchers on more than a dozen counts that are being organized within 100 miles of Spokane. Each volunteer group will count for one day between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5 in a designated circle 15 miles in diameter. Area Audubon groups offer 10 counts on four days during that period. Some birders join in more than one. The count began on Christmas 1900 in 25 eastern localities where groups publicized the pleasure of identifying, counting and recording all the birds they saw/Rich Landers, SR. More here. (SR file photo: Shirley Sturts of Coeur d’Alene Audubon is a long-time organizer of North Idaho Christmas Bird Count groups)

Question: Have you ever counted birds?