The Block Island Times

Bird Census to take place on Dec. 26

Dec 24, 2013

The Community Bird Census is an annual Ocean View Foundation event (this is our 13th year) held on Dec. 26. This was the day that Elizabeth Dickens traditionally led the Christmas bird counts. This event encourages all who are interested in birds and enjoying the beauty of the island to spend part of the day keeping track of the birds they see. The short-term result of the day’s observations is the compilation of an island-wide bird list based on the sightings of many citizen scientists. In the long term these annual bird counts continue the work of Elizabeth Dickens and contribute to a much larger body of information.

All levels of participation are encouraged, from watching your bird feeder to traipsing the island.

Here are the Community Bird Census details:

1. Meet at 9 a.m.. at Settlers Rock where a spotting scope will be available for some early morning duck watching and join with others to make a plan for a day of birding.

2. Bird Walk led by Kim Gaffett at a location determined at 9 a.m. based on wind and weather and most recent snow owl sightings.

3. During the middle of the day, participants will employ whatever means desirable to make a list of birds seen that day. The options for making these observations range from taking one or more walks to watching your bird feeder from the warmth of your house.

4. At 4 p.m. reassemble at the Block Island School to compile the list, enjoy some hot cider, revel in the stories of the day, and admire the Snowy Owl in the Elizabeth Dickens Bird Collection — hopefully not the only one seen that day.

Anyone wishing to call in his or her Block Island observations may call Kim Gaffett at 466-2224.

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