Not all of the figures and data are in but as of February 25th, checklists that have been submitted surpassed 158,000 and 5,500 species were reported, topping 50% of the world’s birds from more than 130 countries. The collective spirit of such an event provides an impressive weekend of tallying birds around the world. The US submitted 128,000+, Canada 13,000+ and India placed third with 7,200+!!!!
As I reviewed the local data, I was impressed by Bell’s Lane being ranked 11th in Hotspots in Virginia!!!! The private pond on Bell’s Lane, one of the few ponds not completely covered with ice, gave us a good variety of waterfowl and helped push the species count to 40. And then, my curiosity was piqued with all of the participants both in Staunton and Augusta County and not knowing a lot of the names. I wish we could bring them into the fold of the bird club, field trips, master naturalists, etc. Any ideas?
It was a fun weekend and the snow on Monday added an extra layer of fun for me. While the snow was falling, I took a beautiful walk throughout my neighborhood and over to the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind (VSDB) soccer field and picked up a few more species for my list of Great Backyard Bird Count birds. A great ending to the Great Backy!
Looking forward to spring and spring bird counts!!!
Penny Warren, Cohort I
President, Augusta Bird Club