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Andrew Dobson

In conjunction with National Audubon in the US, the Bermuda Audubon Society held its 38th CBC on 29th December 2012. Features of this year’s count included:

-          8,580 individual birds were counted (nearly 1,000 more than last year’s total)

-          101 species of birds (88 in 2011, 101 in 2010, 100 in 2009)

-          One new species for count day

-          House Sparrow was the most common species (17.5% of the count)

Bermuda had another successful count on a calm day between the gales. Sixteen birdwatchers were split between seven separate areas of Bermuda. The participants counted every bird from dawn to dusk. Completing much of the census on foot, observers also used car, bike and boat.A Long-tailed Duck, never seen before on the CBC was recorded in the east end by Peter Adhemar and Geoff Bell. Other rare birds included a Yellow-throated Vireo and Horned Grebe which have only been recorded previously on one count day. There were record counts of several species – Great Blue Heron (51), Eurasian Wigeon (3), Spotted Sandpiper (11), Lesser Black-backed Gull (70), Belted Kingfisher (62) and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (4). One species the counters were particularly pleased to record was a Northern Lapwing which is a stray from Europe. It has been present in Bermuda for about a month but elusive on the fringes of the airport.

However, about 55% of all birds recorded were starlings, kiskadees, sparrows or feral pigeons – 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 377 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. 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

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

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Telephone: (441) 238-8628

Email: info@audubon.bm

Website: www.audubon.bm

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