Annual Waterfowl Survey
Today a few of us from the Cattaraugus County Bird Club participated in the NYS DEC / NYSOA annual waterfowl survey. Each January a quarter of a million ducks across New York State are counted by bird clubs, state officials and your average birder. We are also participating in the Mid-winter Bald Eagle Survey, where we are locating Eagles wintering along the Allegheny River. The results of these two surveys will help determine the long-term monitoring of waterfowl and Eagle populations within New York State during the winter months.
Today was our target date and we could not have asked for a better January day to conduct these surveys. The river and streams were open due to the warmer temperatures that occurred this past week. Although last evening we were hit with a hard frost, we did encounter ice in most of the smaller lakes. The sun peaked through the clouds on numerous occasions and temperatures were low to mid ~30’s!
We observed a total of 23 bird species with my highlights being a Coopers Hawk* chasing European Starlings, Eastern Bluebirds*, Cedar Waxwings*, Common Raven, Tree Sparrows, Pileated Woodpecker* and the Pied-billed Grebe* which we almost overlooked (thanks for finding Tim). Those birds which are starred were first for the year birds for me (CHECK)!
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