BirdTrax: Latest Sightings

In conjunction with National Audubon in the US, the Bermuda Audubon Society held its 35th CBC on 31st December 2009. Features of this year’s count included:

  • 8,682 individual birds were counted (over 1,000 more than last year’s total)
  • 100 species of birds (96 in 2008, 95 in 2007 and 100 in 2006)
  • One new species for count day
  • House Sparrow was the most common species (20% of the count)

Bermuda had another successful count on the only calm day over the Christmas period. Twenty birdwatchers, including two young children and a visitor from the US, were divided into eight groups to cover an eighth of the island each. Organiser of the local count and president of the Society, Andrew Dobson, was accompanied by Sir Richrd Gozney on his section of the count. The Governor is patron of the Society and a keen birdwatcher. The participants counted every bird from dawn to dusk as well as adding any additional species seen during the week. Completing much of the census on foot, observers also used car, bike, boat and golf carts! Some unusual species were seen this year. One globally endangered Piping Plover was recorded – a small shorebird which occasionally winters in Bermuda. Other rare birds included a Northern Gannet which arrived from the North Atlantic coast, a Eurasian Wigeon from Europe, a tiny Ruby-throated Hummingbird from eastern North America and two Western Kingbirds from the western US. The kingbirds were a new Count Day species. Record counts of Bermuda Petrel (Cahow) and Green Heron are a reflection of the increasing breeding success of these species.

However, about 50% of all birds recorded were starlings, kiskadees or sparrows – all invasive species which shouldn’t really be in Bermuda and they have certainly had an impact on our local birds. Few US counts, if any, can record as many warbler species as Bermuda does each year – remembering that Bermuda is on the same latitude as Savannah, Georgia. 22 warbler species were recorded this year and 332 individuals. The island provides the most northerly winter refuge for many of these species each year. Most warblers have migrated well to the south, wintering in Central or South America. However, this relatively low number of migrant warblers continues a depressing downward trend in the population of these species. It is a reflection of the loss of habitat in the summer (breeding grounds) and wintering areas and in some cases the effects of global warming. Citizen Science is a way for people to connect with the natural world through fun activities that generate vital information for the conservation of birds. This partnership benefits us all: observers learn about birds by taking part in these science-based activities, and National Audubon's science staff gain invaluable information. Most importantly, the birds benefit because it helps Audubon focus on those birds and habitats that need our help most.

CBC results will be available as they are entered onto the National Audubon website www.audubon.org/bird/cbc

Longtail in flight Bermuda

Longtails

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Bluebird in flight, worm in mouth, bluebird box

Bluebirds

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Cahow in flight Bermuda

Cahows

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Cockroach Island Bermuda, Audubon Nature Reserve Bermuda

Audubon Nature Reserves

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BHS building Bluebird boxes

Environmental Issues

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Kids' Activities

Kids' Activities

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Friends & Sponsors

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Acknowledgements:

Photos courtesy of Andrew Dobson, Paul Watson, Chris Burville, Ras Mykkal, Jennifer Gray, Rosalind Wingate, Rick Slaughter and others.

Get in Touch!

Telephone: (441) 238-8628

Email: info@audubon.bm

Website: www.audubon.bm


The Bermuda Audubon Society
P.O. Box HM 1328
Hamilton HM FX
Bermuda