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San-Cap Audubon conducts Christmas Bird Count

By Staff | Dec 17, 2019
RICK BUNTING Roseate spoonbills
RICK BUNTING Hooded merganser

On Dec. 14, the Sanibel-Captiva Audubon Society conducted its annual Christmas Bird Count.

According to officials, 115 participants counted a total of 9,164 birds comprised of 94 different species. The results of the count will be reported to the National Audubon Society and will become part of the 120th Audubon Christmas Bird Count.

The overall count was down considerably from previous years. Officials reported that the morning thunderstorm and subsequent windy conditions were big factors and the residual effects of the red tide infestation also may have played a part. In addition, the high tidal conditions at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge contributed to the low count, particularly for shorebirds.

Audubon Society Christmas Bird Counts are conducted throughout much of the Western Hemisphere from mid-December through early January. They serve as a source of historical information on the status and distribution of early winter bird populations and are studied by scientists and individuals the world over.

The Sanibel-Captiva Audubon Society thanked all those who took part in this year’s successful Christmas Bird Count. Additional thanks were given to the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation for its count support and the use of its facilities, as well as to the refuge for its count contributions and continued support.