Rose by Harriet Alger, other photos by John Koscinski

304 West Avenue

http://www.blackriveraudubon.org

Elyria, OH  44035

440-322-0820

EDITORS: JACK SMITH / HARRY SPENCER.  PHOTOGRAPHER: JOHN KOSCINSKI, WEBMISTRESS: ARLENE LENGYEL

                                                                                 

                                                            January 2008

                                    

Program

Tuesday, January 8;Carlisle Visitor's Center

Global Warming: the Forecast for Birds, Biodiversity and People

Marnie Urso, Grassroots Coordinator, Audubon Ohio

Marnie Urso joined Audubon Ohio in 2005 as its first Grassroots Coordinator. She recruits, trains, and guides volunteers who support Audubon Ohio 's advocacy work on conservation issues. Previously she served five years as Ohio State Director of the National League of Conservation Voters.

Christmas Bird Counts

All birders, young and old, experienced or not, are welcome to participate in either or both Christmas Bird Counts. To register or to obtain information contact CBC Coordinator Dave Bragg at either 440-647-2355 or dbraggohio@hotmail.com.

Elyria Christmas Bird Count

Saturday, December 22

Wellington Christmas Bird Count

Saturday, December 29

Young Birders Hike

Saturday, January 12

 

Field Trip

 Saturday, January 19, 9:30 AM

Lorain Harbor and Avon Lake Power Plant

Meet at marina dock next to Jackalope Restaurant.

Board Meeting

Tuesday, January 29, 6:30 PM

Oberlin Depot, opposite McDonald's

November 10, 2007 Field Trip

Wellington Reservation

Adapted from a report filed in eBird by Nan Miller

Thirty-one birdwatchers from both Black River and Western Cuyahoga Audubon Societies attended with Naturalist Chris Grame leading. Five of us in the back, Eric Bruder, Marty Ackermann, Debbie Miller, Eliot Miller, and Nan Miller, could not see anything. With one adolescent along, we zigged when the rest of the group zagged. We found one area with many sparrows and stayed there 1/2 hour for identifications. During that time we easily spotted Le Conte's Sparrows because two of us had seen the species just the previous week. 

Other species identified: Canada Goose, Ring-necked Pheasant, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch, American Robin, American Tree Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal, American Goldfinch, House Sparrow.

Afterwards we spent thirty minutes at the Wellington Upground Reservoir where we identified the following birds: Canada Goose, Gadwall, Redhead, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Ruddy Duck, Common Loon, Pied-billed Grebe, Horned Grebe, Red-tailed Hawk, American Coot, Ring-billed Gull, Blue Jay.

Young Birders November 10, 2007 Field Trip

Sandy Ridge Reservation

Adapted from a report filed in eBird by Harriet Alger

On a cloudy day with the temperature in the forties, Naturalist Tim Fairweather led ten enthusiastic participants on a two-hour hike. The group included Elyria teacher Sheila Lewicki, one of her students and his father, two mothers and their sons, Nan Shipman, Wayne Shipman, and Harriet Alger.

            A Bald Eagle and an American Kestrel each perched in trees long enough for good views. A Common Loon was an unexpected and exciting flyover.

            Other species identified: Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Gadwall, American Wigeon, American Black Duck, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Ruddy Duck, Pied-billed Grebe, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, American Coot, Ring-billed Gull, Mourning Dove, Belted Kingfisher, Red-headed Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Bluebird, European Starling, American Tree Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal, American Goldfinch, House Sparrow.

November 27 Board Meeting

                According to Secretary Arlene Ryan, the meeting concerned several new issues. The Board voted approval of Eric Bruder's Board membership to complete the term of John Koscinski. Education Chair Dick Lee reported that Black River Audubon has made the necessary deposit for two scholarships at the Audubon Hog Island summer program. President Harriet Alger asked the Chapter to support a new Congressional clean energy bill.  She has written a letter and asked others to write to our senators and representatives.

Birders' Alphabet

By Carol Leininger

X Xantus

John Xantus (1825-1894) was born in Hungary and came to the U.S. in 1850. He enlisted in the army, was a hospital steward, and eventually an Acting Assistant Surgeon. He was also a very energetic bird collector in California and Baja California. Off the coast of Cape San Lucas he found, described, and named Xantus's Murrelet. In the same area he found a hummingbird that he gave to his friend G. N. Lawrence in 1860. Lawrence named it the Xantus's Hummingbird. While serving in Ft. Tejon, California, Xantus described several new bird species including Hammond's Flycatcher, Spotted Owl, and a vireo that he named for John Cassin. The vireo was later considered to be a sub-species of the Solitary Vireo. Subsequently, however, the Solitary Vireo was split into three species: Cassin's Vireo (Vireo cassinii), Blue-headed Vireo (Vireo solitarius), and Plumbeous Vireo (Vireo plumbeus). Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch, American Robin, American Tree Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal, American Goldfinch, House Sparrow.

Afterwards we spent thirty minutes at the Wellington Upground Reservoir where we identified the following birds: Canada Goose, Gadwall, Redhead, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Ruddy Duck, Common Loon, Pied-billed Grebe, Horned Grebe, Red-tailed Hawk, American Coot, Ring-billed Gull, Blue Jay.

Young Birders November 10, 2007 Field Trip

Sandy Ridge Reservation

Adapted from a report filed in eBird by Harriet Alger

On a cloudy day with the temperature in the forties, Naturalist Tim Fairweather led ten enthusiastic participants on a two-hour hike. The group included Elyria teacher Sheila Lewicki, one of her students and his father, two mothers and their sons, Nan Shipman, Wayne Shipman, and Harriet Alger.

            A Bald Eagle and an American Kestrel each perched in trees long enough for good views. A Common Loon was an unexpected and exciting flyover.

            Other species identified: Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Gadwall, American Wigeon, American Black Duck, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Ruddy Duck, Pied-billed Grebe, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, American Coot, Ring-billed Gull, Mourning Dove, Belted Kingfisher, Red-headed Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Bluebird, European Starling, American Tree Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal, American Goldfinch, House Sparrow.

November 27 Board Meeting

                According to Secretary Arlene Ryan, the meeting concerned several new issues. The Board voted approval of Eric Bruder's Board membership to complete the term of John Koscinski. Education Chair Dick Lee reported that Black River Audubon has made the necessary deposit for two scholarships at the Audubon Hog Island summer program. President Harriet Alger asked the Chapter to support a new Congressional clean energy bill.  She has written a letter and asked others to write to our senators and representatives.

Birders' Alphabet

By Carol Leininger

X Xantus

John Xantus (1825-1894) was born in Hungary and came to the U.S. in 1850. He enlisted in the army, was a hospital steward, and eventually an Acting Assistant Surgeon. He was also a very energetic bird collector in California and Baja California. Off the coast of Cape San Lucas he found, described, and named Xantus's Murrelet. In the same area he found a hummingbird that he gave to his friend G. N. Lawrence in 1860. Lawrence named it the Xantus's Hummingbird. While serving in Ft. Tejon, California, Xantus described several new bird species including Hammond's Flycatcher, Spotted Owl, and a vireo that he named for John Cassin. The vireo was later considered to be a sub-species of the Solitary Vireo. Subsequently, however, the Solitary Vireo was split into three species: Cassin's Vireo (Vireo cassinii), Blue-headed Vireo (Vireo solitarius), and Plumbeous Vireo (Vireo plumbeus).

adult

 

juvenile

 

Cooper's Hawk

Accipiter cooperii

By Jack Smith

            Early in the twentieth century William Cooper shot a hawk and took it to Charles Lucien Bonaparte for identification. Bonaparte, French naturalist and ornithologist, described the hawk for science in 1828 and named it to honor Cooper.

            (The bird is of the genus Accipiter and species cooperii. Because it was named for an individual, the species name ends in   double ii.)

            Cooper's Hawks are distinguished from Sharp-shinned Hawks often by size, but principally by the shape of the tail: rounded in the former and almost square in the latter.

            The two photos above illustrate the noticeable differences in appearance of adult and juvenile Cooper's Hawks. The rusty cross-barring and orange eye of the bird portrayed in the top photo indicates an adult. The brown striping and yellowish eye on the bird in the lower photo identifies a juvenile .

            Over several years eye color of a Cooper's Hawk changes from yellow to orange to red. And a red eye of a breeding bird can be damaged by chicks that presumably often mistake red eyes for pieces of red meat. Damage by the chicks' sharp, hooked beaks, however, is often prevented by the adult's nictitating membrane, the so-called third eyelid.

            Some ornithologists postulate that the long period of eye-color change evolved to provide several relatively eye-safe breeding seasons.

            Both Cooper's and Sharp-shinned Hawks are woodland predators well adapted to pursuing prey on the wing within a forest. Joe Strong and I watched a vivid demonstration of this flying skill of a Sharp-shinned Hawk on a May day in the 1980s at White Fish Point on the upper peninsula of Michigan.

We arrived at a banding station during a huge migration of hawks including kettles of Broad-wings, Sharp-shins and Cooper's. The banders caught scores of Sharp-shins and Cooper's in their nets.

The friendly banders eagerly told us about birds, and one man demonstrated the agility of a Sharp-shined Hawk. After banding the bird he said, "Now watch this closely." He threw the hawk into nearby bushes. The bird flew forward and sidewise through the bushes without touching a branch.

We were amazed at the bird's agility and maneuverability.

Our demonstrator said that Cooper's Hawks were almost as agile.

That agility is suited for the birds to pursue their prey, the major part of which consists of small birds such as sparrows, starlings, Mourning Doves, flickers, meadowlarks, robins, and others. They also catch small mammals such as red squirrels and chipmunks.

In their quest for food, the Cooper's Hawks have learned some very clever strategies to ensnare their prey. One was demonstrated for my brother Tom and me some years ago at the Wildlife Observation Area at the Carlisle Visitors' Center.

In a tree about a hundred feet from the viewing window, we spotted a Cooper's Hawk sitting nonchalantly in the tree top some forty or more feet from the ground. Two or three Mourning Doves were feeding on the ground near the window but partially shielded from the tree by a 5 or 6-ft bush.

The hawk seemed to fly down and away. To our surprise he suddenly appeared just above the bush before diving on an unsuspecting dove. The hawk carried the dove back to the top of the same tree and proceeded to have lunch with feathers flying.

At the time, I wished that we could train the hawk to restrict his hunting to House Sparrows and European Starlings, two introduced invasive species that have been so detrimental for bluebirds, Purple Martins, and other native species. But that training has been unsuccessful for this so-called Chicken Hawk.

Similar to the two other bird-eating Accipiter hawks, Sharp-shinned Hawk and Northern Goshawk, Cooper's Hawks habitually circle with alternating flapping and gliding.

The northern-most breeders that migrate also use this sequence of flying during migration. Those birds migrate during the day, taking advantage of large flocks of migrating passerines. The migrating hawks ride winds along ridges and coastlines.

In our area Cooper's Hawks are observed year around.

During courtship both male and female fly with slow, exaggerated wingbeats over a staked-out territory. During that time the male feeds the female for up to 30 days before she lays her first egg.

Both sexes probably build the nest, which is constructed of sticks and a softer material, such as bark. They usually choose a site 25 to 50-feet above ground in either a deciduous or coniferous tree. She lays 3 to 5 pale bluish-white eggs and does most of the incubating. The male brings food to the female and incubates for short times while the female eats. The incubation time is 34 to 36 days.

The female broods the hatchlings while the male brings food for all. In four or five weeks the young begin to test their wings.

Adult Cooper's Hawks are about crow-size, 14 to 20 inches long with a wingspread of 24 to 36 inches. As with most hawks, females are larger than males.

Similar to other hawks, Cooper's Hawks, do not always catch their intended prey. For example, Harriet Alger and I watched a juvenile Cooper's Hawk pursue a House Sparrow into a Yew bush in front of her house. We found it comical to see him walk around the bush, poking his head into it in unsuccessful attempts to reach the sparrow.

In my backyard at home I am often visited by a Cooper's Hawk, and about a year ago during breakfast time, I watched a Cooper's Hawk swoop in and capture a House Sparrow.

            In the first half of the Twentieth Century the numbers of Cooper's Hawks drastically declined. Many birders and ornithologists believe that the widespread use of DDT and other pesticides was responsible. Consistent with this explanation is the observation that substantial recovery of numbers of Cooper's Hawks has occurred since the banning of DDT.

References: Raptors, The Birds of Prey by Scott Weidensaul; The Audubon Society Encyclopedia of North American Birds by John K. Terres; Lives of North American Birds by Kenn Kaufman.

Backyard Bird Counts

Announcement by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon

Time to focus on feeders!

            The 21st season of Project Feeder Watch is underway, but you can sign up at any time. Your counts will help scientists monitor changes in feeder-bird populations over the winter from year to year. New participants receive a kit with a handbook, a bird-identification poster, a calendar, and an instruction booklet.

            For more information about Project Feeder Watch or to sign up in the U.S., please visit www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/ or call 800-843-2473. There is a $15 fee to defray the cost of the materials ($12 for Lab members).

Count for Fun, Count for the Future!

            That's our theme for the 11th annual Great Backyard Bird Count coming up February 15-18, 2008. We're hoping you'll help top the record-breaking 2007 count, when participants submitted more than 80,000 checklists!

            Consider becoming a GBBC ambassador to help us spread the word about this great event, whether it's by putting up posters in your neighborhood, contacting newspapers, or leading workshops. For more information, visit www.birdcount.org and click on the "Get Involved" button. You'll find a new online ambassador sign-up form where you can specify the kinds of activities you'd like to do.

Educational Success: Audubon Adventure Kit Distribution

Announcement by Dick Lee, Education Chair

Classroom teachers in public and private schools have requested 38 Classroom Kits, and homeschoolers have asked for 5 Individual Kits. The Chapter has ordered these kits at a cost of $1859.70 and will donate the kits at no charge to the requestors.

The Audubon Adventures program is a major educational project of the Black River Audubon Society.

Summary of November Bird-Sightings

During November, Black River Audubon members recorded 75 checklists identifying 82 species on our eBird site. The birders surveyed thirteen locations: Avon Lake Power Plant, Bacon Woods, Black River Reservation, Caley Reservation, Carlisle Reservation, Columbia Reservation, French Creek Reservation, Lorain County Community College, Lorain Harbor, Oberlin Arboretum/Cemetery, Sandy Ridge Reservation, Wellington Reservation, and Wellington Upground Reservoir.

            Species identified: Canada Goose, Trumpeter Swan, Wood Duck, Gadwall, American Wigeon, American Black Duck, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, Red-breasted Merganser, Ruddy Duck,

            Ring-necked Pheasant, Common Loon, Pied-billed Grebe, Horned Grebe, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret,

            Bald Eagle, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper's Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel,

            American Coot, Killdeer, Bonaparte's Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Great Horned Owl, Belted Kingfisher,

            Red-headed Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker,

            Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Carolina Wren,

            Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Bluebird, Swainson's Thrush, American Robin, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Yellow-rumped Warbler,

            American Tree Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Le Conte's Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco,

            Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Eastern Meadowlark, Purple Finch, House Finch, American Goldfinch, and House Sparrow.

Irruption: Red-breasted

Nuthatches

By Harry Spencer

            At the December 5 meeting, I took an informal poll of the forty or so attendees. The questions were how many had seen  Red-breasted Nuthatches at their feeders or near their houses recently? and what was the largest number of birds seen at one time. Six attendees had seen one bird, six two, four three, and one four.

            In other words, almost half had seen at least one Red-breasted Nuthatch around their homes during the fall of 2007. In a usual year, far fewer would have seen the birds.

            In our Black River area we are enjoying an irruptive year in Red-breasted Nuthatches.

            That we are experiencing a widespread event is documented in the following exert from the December 5, 2007 eBird News and Features section.

Bohemian Waxwings, Pine Grosbeaks & Other Boreal

Irruptives on the Move!

By Matthew Medler, Boreal Songbird Initiative

(Excerpts from a report in eBird)

December 5, 2007

            Although wintry weather is just barely upon us, birders in northern border states from Minnesota to Maine are already enjoying one of the occasional joys of winter birding--an influx of boreal irruptive species like Bohemian Waxwing, Pine Grosbeak, Evening Grosbeak, and Common Redpoll. In fact, the early fall months have already seen a sizable irruption of Red-breasted Nuthatches, Purple Finches, and Pine Siskins out of Canada's boreal forest to areas as far south as Georgia.

                The Boreal Forest region, covering 1.5 billion acres of Canada and Alaska, regularly hosts more than 300 species of birds, but perhaps none are more closely associated with this region than the group of winter finches and associated boreal irruptive species that includes Northern Shrike, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Bohemian Waxwing, Evening Grosbeak, Purple Finch, Red Crossbill, White-winged Crossbill, and Pine Grosbeak. With the exception of Red Crossbill, the Boreal Forest Region supports at least 25% of the North American breeding populations of all of these species, and in the cases of Bohemian Waxwing, White-winged Crossbill, and Pine Grosbeak, is home to nearly the entire continental populations. These three species, together with other northern boreal birds like Northern Shrike and Common Redpoll, will undoubtedly benefit from the recent announcement from the Canadian government that it will protect 25.5 million acres of boreal forest in the Northwest Territories. This land conservation agreement, one of the largest in North American history, will protect an area approximately 11 times the size of Yellowstone National Park.

            While the exact mechanism of irruptive movements is not entirely clear, populations of all of these species periodically move southward out of the boreal forest, presumably in response to shortages of seeds, berries, and other important winter food sources. Some species, like Red-breasted Nuthatch, show a fairly regular pattern of irruptions every other year, while Pine Grosbeak irruptions occur less frequently, at intervals of five to twenty-five years. The large number of sightings of many boreal irruptives suggests that this winter is going to be an exciting one for birders, and a great opportunity to contribute important information to eBird!

            Red-breasted Nuthatches provided the first hint that we might witness a major boreal irruption in 2007, as individuals were reported from the barrier beaches of Long Island, New York in June and early July. Since that time nuthatches have been reported from areas across eastern North America where the species does not usually occur--from Kansas and Iowa south to Texas and Louisiana, eastward through the Gulf Coast states, and northward along the Atlantic seaboard to New Jersey.

Latest WatchList Raises Alarms About Ohio Birds

By Casey Tucker

(From the December 3, 2007 edition of Audubon Ohio E-News)

            Many of the 178 bird species that Audubon and the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) say need top-priority conservation attention to ensure their continued survival spend at least part of their year in Ohio. They have the dubious distinction of being included on WatchList 2007, the newest and most scientifically sound list of America's birds at greatest risk.

Unlike those on Audubon's recent survey of Common Birds in Decline, these species are often rare and limited in range: consequently, they face a greater possibility of disappearing from the state. For many of them, conservation efforts in Ohio as well as nationally will play a critical role in determining their future health and survival.

            The continental WatchList is based on a comprehensive analysis of population size and trends, distribution, and environmental threats, informed and improved by extensive scientific review. The three species on Ohio's "red list" are those of greatest concern, while the additional 11 merit "yellow list" status due to a combination of rarity and/or a declining population. Species found on either part of the WatchList demand immediate help while there is still time to save them.

            The five Priority WatchList species found in Ohio are:

Henslow's Sparrow--Loss of grassland breeding habitats through succession, changing agricultural practices, and urbanization have contributed greatly to the 85% state decline of this species over the past 40 years. With an estimated population of only 6,000 birds in Ohio, restoration and protection of appropriate grassland habitats will be essential.

Prothonotary Warbler--The loss of wetlands and channelization of streams and rivers in Ohio has probably contributed greatly to the status of this charismatic species of swamp forests and riparian corridors. Partners in Flight has estimated Ohio's population to consist of approximately 300 individuals, though several nest box initiatives in the state have increased local abundance in several Important Bird Areas.

Red-headed Woodpecker--Once abundant in Ohio's oak-hickory forests and woodlots, this species has declined 78% to an estimated population of 35,000 birds. Competition for nest-cavities with non-native invasive species and habitat loss due to urbanization and changing agricultural practices may have contributed towards the species' decline.

Prairie Warbler--Urbanization and succession are major factors contributing to the loss of shrub-scrub habitat for this species. They have declined by as much as 54% in Ohio over the past 40 years to an estimated population level today of 51,000 individuals. Long-term management of old fields as shrub-scrub habitats is needed to prevent further declines of this species.

Cerulean Warbler--In spite of habitat acquisition efforts and regenerating forestland in Ohio, this bird of mature deciduous hardwood forests has declined by 80% over the last 40 years to an estimated population level of 70,000 individuals in Ohio. The decline of this species may be due to a number of different factors including habitat fragmentation, loss of wintering and stopover habitats, and loss of diversity in mature forest canopies.

The new Audubon/ABC WatchList is based on the latest available data from the Christmas Bird Count and the annual Breeding Bird Survey along with other research and assessment from the bird-conservation community. The data were analyzed and weighted according to methods developed through extensive peer review and revision, yielding an improved assessment of actual peril that can be used to determine bird conservation priorities and funding. Unlike those on Audubon's recent survey of Common Birds in Decline, these species are often rare and limited in range.

The WatchList message is clear: we must harness the energy of individuals and groups to work together to protect birds, their habitats, and other wildlife for the enjoyment and benefit of ourselves and our children.

For the complete WatchList, and information on how to help, visit www.audubon.org. To learn more about Audubon Ohio's work protecting these and other species, visit www.audubonohio.org.

Webmistress

                Arlene Lengyel, Black River Audubon's newly designated Webmistress, graciously provided the following summary of her background and operation.

            I am a retired Amherst Schools math teacher but spent the last two years as a computer support person. I took classes in Web design and gained much from all of my on-the-job computer experience at Amherst Schools. In 1996 I designed the Black River Astronomical Society's web page, and I have maintained it for 11 years. Also I currently manage the Wellington Friends of the Library web site as well as that of Black River Audubon Society, of which I am a member.

            Black River Audubon's web host is tripod.com. That organization charges a small monthly hosting fee, but my time updating our web site is volunteered.

            To install the online version of WINGTIPS, I first receive a file from Harry that he has created with HTML editor PageBreeze. He sends the graphic files separately. After making sure everything works together correctly on my home computer, I upload the files to the Tripod server. If there is a problem, I go right into the HTML code to fix it.

Audubon's 108th Annual Christmas Bird Count

By Casey Tucker

(Excerpted from the December 3, 2007 edition of Audubon Ohio E-News)

            From December 14. 2007 to January 5, 2008, the National Audubon Society's longest-running wintertime tradition, the annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC), will take place throughout the Americas. During the 108th CBC, approximately 55,000 volunteers of all skill levels are expected to take part in this census of birds.

            The CBC began over a century ago when 27 conservationists in 25 localities, led by scientist and writer Frank Chapman, changed the course of ornithological history. On Christmas Day in 1900, the small group posed an alternative to the "side hunt," a Christmas activity in which teams competed to see who could shoot the most birds and small mammals. At the turn of the century the depletion of bird populations through unregulated recreational hunting and over-harvesting for the fashion industry were major concerns for many people. Instead of killing birds during the holiday season, Chapman proposed that people identify, count, and record all the birds they saw, founding what is now considered to be the world's most significant citizen-based conservation effort -- and what has become a more than century-old institution.

            Professor Lynds Jones of Oberlin College was one of the original 27 counters of 1900, thereby securing Ohio's place in history as one of the first states to conduct a Christmas Bird Count. During that first Ohio count, Jones counted 14 species which included a Red-shouldered Hawk, 40 (American) Tree Sparrows, 14 Purple Finches, and only one (Northern) Cardinal.

            Today there are over 60 Audubon Christmas Bird Counts throughout Ohio that attract close to 1,500 volunteer counters who count tens of thousands of birds annually -- including nearly 20,000 Northern Cardinals -- and the number of volunteers and cardinals goes up each year. It's estimated that nearly 3 million people in Ohio participate in some form of wildlife-watching activity. Those activities include bird-watching, bird-feeding, landscaping for birds, nature photography, or other activities such as participating in a local Christmas Bird Count.

            The CBC is vital in monitoring the status of resident and migratory birds across the Western Hemisphere, and the data, which is 100% volunteer generated, have become a crucial part of the U.S. Government's natural history monitoring database.

            Audubon and our partners at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center and Boreal Species Initiative are analyzing data from the overall CBC database, and using their results to develop Audubon's 'State of the Birds' reports. These important results are reflected this year in our Common Birds in Decline report, and inform the Audubon WatchList, which is used to prioritize Audubon's bird conservation activities.

                From the efforts of citizen scientists participating in Audubon's CBC we've gained a better understanding of the status of some of our common birds in Ohio. For example, over the last forty years Eastern Meadowlarks have declined 75% while Carolina Chickadees have increased nearly 49%

            CBCs involve volunteers counting all the birds that they can find within more than sixty different 15-mile diameter circles located throughout Ohio. These birdwatchers try to cover as much habitat as possible, including lakes, grasslands and fields, and woodlands. The purpose is to document what species and how many of each are found where in Ohio. Count results from 1900 to the present are available through Audubonís website

www.audubon.org/bird/cbc.

            Audubon encourages people to get out and count this season.

                                                                                                  

                            

                                       

                                          

                                                    

                                                            

 

 

    NORTHERN CARDINAL

John Koscinski

 

Join us for our annual Christmas Bird Counts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beak of Cooper's Hawk

John Koscinski.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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