Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Holland Bird Count Down, But Some Surprises

from a news article in the Grand Rapids Press, "Annual Holland-area Christmas Bird Count brings a few surprises," by Aaron Og, Jan 3, 2009

"I want to see it -- not just hear it," said Stephen Bosch, whose passion for birding spans more than 30 years. "Sight is definitely confirmation." Bosch was one of 23 birders participating in the Holland-area Christmas Bird Count, coordinated by DeGraaf Nature Center.

First-time counter Ben Venner, 9, of South Haven, caught a glimpse of a Snowy Owl next to a fence. Young people have been participating in greater numbers in recent years.

An estimated 50 species were spotted in the 88 square mile area covered by the Holland Bird Count. This included bald eagles, trumpeter swans (with black bills), and a white-winged crossbill. The crossbill is rare in West Michigan.

Species sightings were down from 77 last year, but a cold breeze kept many feathered creatures huddled out of sight.

The Holland bird count is part of the national effort by the National Audubon Society which compiles that data from enthusiasts across the country. Audubon's Christmas Bird Count is the longest-running citizen science project in the world.

See National Audubon Society
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