BirdTrax: Latest Sightings

In conjunction with National Audubon in the US, the Bermuda Audubon Society held its 37th CBC on 27th December 2011. Features of this year’s count included:

-          7,659 individual birds were counted (over 1,000 less than last year’s total)

-          88 species of birds (101 in 2010, 100 in 2009 and 97 in 2008)

-          Two new species for count day

-          European Starling was the most common species (27% of the count)

Bermuda had another successful count on a calm day between gales the day before and after. Fifteen birdwatchers were split between nine separate areas of Bermuda. Organiser of the local count and president of the Society, Andrew Dobson, was accompanied by Sir Richrd Gozney and Audubon member Keith Rossiter on his section of the count. The Governor is patron of the Society and a keen birdwatcher. In woodland at Spittal Pond they discovered the bird of the day, a MacGillivray’s Warbler, a 5-inch bird which breeds in the western US and Canada. 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 and boat.One Garganey– a small duck from Europe was also recorded on the count for the first time. Other rare birds included two Iceland Gulls, a very distinctive white-winged gull and also three Yellow-billed Cuckoos. It is extremely rare to find cuckoos wintering in Bermuda but these birds had obviously remained following a large fall of these birds in October.

However, about 52% 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 due to our mild winter weather. 18 warbler species were recorded this year and 240 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. This year the lowest ever number of American Redstarts was recorded (a warbler 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 most need our help.

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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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